KUCHING, Oct 23: The federal government should not collect road tax from Sarawak if it is unable to fulfill its responsibilities to maintain and upgrade the roads in the state.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian highlighted this as the peak hour jam problem at Taman Desa Wira in Batu Kawa area here will be solved with the approved RM1.43 million road upgrading project by the Sarawak government.
“Works will be carried out by CMS Quarries Sdn Bhd starting this month until July next year.
“The project will involve upgrading and widening the road to solve the traffic jam problem during peak hours at the area,” he said in a media release today after witnessing Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak presenting the contract award to CMS Quarries which will undertake the project today.
This road upgrading proposal, Dr Sim revealed, had been ignored by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government when it was submitted then.
“Batu Kawa Road is under the federal government’s jurisdiction, hence they have an obligation to upgrade and do the improvement when necessary, but they don’t,” he said.
Dr Sim, who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman, added that he then had to seek Sarawak government funding for this road upgrading project when the previous PH government did not respond to the request.
“(Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi) Abang Johari (Tun Openg) has since approved it.
“If the federal government does not fulfill its responsibilities to maintain and upgrade our roads, then they should not collect road tax and (other related) taxes from Sarawak,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Dr Sim struck back that the then minister of public works was a Sarawakian who should have approved the project for the benefit of Sarawakians.
“And where is the return of 50 per cent of tax collected to Sarawak promised by DAP (Democratic Action Party)?,” he questioned.
JKR Sarawak Sarawak (Kuching Division) assistant engineering Bong Yan Phing and CMS Quarries Sdn Bhd deputy executive manager Abd Rahman Noor were present. —DayakDaily