Uggah: 33 per cent of 258 ongoing projects categorised as ‘sick’

A screengrab of Uggah delivering his winding-up speech during today's (May 26, 2022) DUN Sitting taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream on Facebook.

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By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, May 26: A total of 85 projects or 33 per cent of 258 ongoing projects are in the sick project category presently, says Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah said under his ministry, four key market challenges and constraints have been identified as contributing to the root cause of sick projects, namely manpower availability, construction machinery availability, rising cost of construction materials, and material resources availability.

“In the effort to address the issue of sick projects, Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak has established action plans to administer the project status based on contractual requirements to standardise corrective actions undertaken by the department’s project teams.

“Upon project progress falling behind its implementation schedule, the project teams shall execute necessary interventions to reduce the number of delayed and sick projects through efficient project management,” he said during his winding-up speech during the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

Uggah said for contractors affected by market constraints during the pandemic, assistance is offered to them to ease their burden. Amongst others, the reparable steps taken are extension of time (EOT); variation of price (VOP); suspension of works; deeds of assignment of works; and mutual termination.

He pointed out that should a project be considered beyond rescue and uneconomical for the contractor to continue, then termination of the contract is unavoidable.

“A project revival strategy is then executed to complete the remaining portion of the work required in the shortest possible time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Uggah gave assurance that his ministry will assist JKR Sarawak in resolving project implementation issues and monitor the factors contributing to delays in project delivery with the establishment of the Infrastructure Project Monitoring Committee.

“My ministry and JKR Sarawak are acting decisively to address this problem. We are determined to resolve the issue of sick projects and implement immediate solutions to ensure projects are delivered on time,” he said. — DayakDaily