Sarawak DAP claims credit for LRT project cancellation, says opposition ‘indispensable’

Chong debating the Sarawak Governor's address in the DUN sitting today (May 23, 2022). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 23: Claiming credit for the cancellation of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) emphasises that the Opposition is indispensable in any democracy.

Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (PH-DAP) asserted that in a democracy, the importance of the opposition cannot be over emphasised.

He said one example was the LRT project which was suppose to stretch from Santubong to Kuching to Serian, covering a distance of 125km as announced by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“At that time when the announcement was made, there is only songs of praises coming from GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak elected representatives who were) ignorant or totally neglecting what was the cost associated with it.

“And it was the DAP which highlighted that if you wanted to build such a long stretch of LRT line from Santubong, to Kuching to Serian, which is 125km, based on the cost of Kelana Jaya and Bandar Utama LRT, excluding the land acquisition cost, it will take up to between RM25-30 billion.

“And that was the cost of construction then. If you were to take up the cost of construction now, that has been inflated by more than double, that will be roughly RM50 billion,” said Chong while debating on the Sarawak Governor’s address in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

The Sarawak DAP chief said it was fortunate that due to DAP Sarawak’s strong objection over the LRT project, the Premier finally aborted the project.

Chong said Sarawak DAP has saved Sarawakians RM50 billion, and it had also saved Sarawakian children from paying for this “would-be white elephant project” in future.

Meanwhile, Chong called on the Sarawak government to emulate the federal government’s policy of allowing contractors to submit variation of the cost of construction in view of the surge in material costs which may double initial construction costs submitted.

He also called for the relaxation of red tape to allow the entry of more foreign workers to assist local businessmen so that economic recovery may be expedited. — DayakDaily