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KUCHING, Jan 11: Rehabilitating “sick projects” and immediate post-flood response, especially to damaged infrastructures, will be among the issues in focus for the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak in its next meeting.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas highlighted that these two issues were in the uppermost of his mind following his first briefing on the department roles, responsibilities and programmes at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) office here yesterday.
JKR Sarawak director Datu Ir Zuraimi Sabki and his team of senior officers conducted the briefing.
“I suggested that in our next meeting, we will discuss ‘sick’ infrastructure projects.
“The sooner we can rehabilitate them, the better it is for Sarawak and those concerned,” he said in a statement today.
As Sarawak is facing the monsoon season now with the possibility of floods, Uggah emphasised that JKR Sarawak’s post-flood response plan is another matter of great concern, considering there will be issues of erosions, broken bridges, damaged roads, and many others.
“The department needed to respond fast, especially in determining the cost of repair and to forward the plan to the State government for approval. After that, it is a matter of putting in the mechanism and funding,” he said.
Referring to the flood situation in Baram last year where not much had been done, he pointed out that perhaps due to funding issues, the bridge crossing the Sungai Tutoh, which was swept away, has yet to be replaced.
“We too had seen the recent flood situation in some states in the peninsula. But I believe Sarawak is better prepared in comparison,” he added.
Uggah also raised that it was of utmost importance that the government could speed up its project delivery commitments through the department, given the overwhelming support from the people for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the recent Sarawak election.
“The timely delivery of infrastructure projects, particularly in rural areas, are highly featured in our election manifesto.
“People have great expectations, so are the responsibilities and challenges we face. This is more so where the terrain is rough and rugged.
“But I am confident we can deliver with the support, commitment and co-operation of all and with the experts in the department and related agencies,” he said.
Uggah further stressed the delivery was imperative as the Sarawak government needed to show some accomplishments within its first 100 days of governance.
His Assistant Minister Aidel Lariwoo and MIPD Permanent Secretary Datu Safri Zainudin were also present. — DayakDaily