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KUCHING, July 26: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing calls on Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof to sort out problems with the Pan Borneo Highway project along the Bintulu-Sibu road which are endangering the lives of road users.
Tiong, who is also the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, said in a statement today he has made a number of queries on why the road at diversion sites are not paved properly for traffic.
He claimed the contractor has totally neglected to tar the road at diversion sites, leaving loose stone, sand, and dirt to obscure drivers’ visibility, and the airborne debris makes it difficult to see the road and leads to accidents.
“The Pan Borneo Highway debacle cannot be allowed to continue like this forever. It is far past the hour that the Minister of Works must ‘turun padang’ as per his duties and strictly supervise the project’s development to be done properly and safely.
“Why continue to subject the public to this dereliction of duty? The highway’s contractor is reaping the rewards but no one can use the highway with peace of mind while we are paying for the maintenance costs,” he emphasised.
Tiong asserted the minister in charge must exercise his authority immediately to drastically improve the quality of the project.
“Otherwise, the Pan Borneo Highway project continues to just be a mere talking point for the politicians to gain cheap exposure,” he added.
At the same time, Tiong pointed out that in December last year (2020), the Work Minister had stated that the Public Works Department (JKR) which oversees national public works, had appointed a Project Management Company (PMC) in order to manage the Pan Borneo Highway project.
According to him, based on his latest inspection, the company does not seem to have made any further progress in this area. Tiong questioned the contribution of the PMC towards improving the project.
“Every time following a high profile “inspection visit”, there is no further follow-up action and everyone continues with their day with “a shrug of the shoulder”,” said Tiong.
To this day, he continued, there are inadequate safety measures used in the areas under construction, with messy road work management, and missing warning lights and signage to divert traffic safely.
“Potholes are incredibly common, and plenty of loose dirt and sand on the road make the whole place look like a war zone. It is dangerous enough to drive there in the daytime, not to mention at night.
“The danger to road users is like walking a tightrope; you will literally lose your life with less than perfect attention when driving,” Tiong added. — DayakDaily