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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Jan 27: The ferry incident at Sungai Ridan ferry crossing in Marudi yesterday is not affecting the flow of traffic to and from Marudi Town, as the ferry was berthing during the incident and incurred only slight damage, disclosed Marudi Assemblyman Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.
However, he was disappointed with the current pace of the RM75 million Marudi Bridge construction which he said is about 34.25 per cent behind time as of Jan 7, 2021, and the delay was a result of open tender whereby the tender was awarded to the lowest bidder without examining the thoroughly the technical, financial and management capacity of the bidder.
“This is the flaw that we faced when we implement the open tender process for projects. And when the project is delayed, the government will also be blamed.
“To me, the Marudi Bridge could have reached almost 50 per cent completion by now if it has been awarded to a contractor or through direct negotiation in strict compliance with the relevant financial regulations and instructions to ensure that whoever gets the job has the necessary capacity and capabilities to implement such as project and that it could be completed within the specified time frame. It may cost a little bit higher but we can be assured of the quality of works as well as the timeframe it can be completed,” Penguang told DayakDaily when contacted today.
He asserted that he agreed with the open tender policy, but for constructions of roads and bridges and other specialised projects, it should be awarded to the contractors who have the experience and have been proven to be capable of delivering the project on time.
“And I have been personally monitoring the bridge and having meetings constantly to know its latest update,” he said.
The project, which was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg two years ago, has been delayed, but the new date of completion will be June 2022.
On the overall development of Marudi, Penguang who is also the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing said, in the past four as its assemblyman, more than RM500 million worth of projects such as roads, bridges, waterfront, administrative offices, Dewan Masyarakat, sports complex as well as ICT and water projects have been secured to further develop N76 Marudi.
“This does not include the Marudi/Long Linei/Long Panai/Long Terawan/Ng Melinau and the Long Panai/Long Lama Road and the rural electrification project which are currently and concurrently implemented,” he said. -DayakDaily