KUCHING, Sept 1: The water issues in Sibu Jaya continue to be a source of irritation for Dudong assemblyman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, as the Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) has promised to resolve the issues by the end of the month but fulfilling the promise has been repeatedly delayed.
According to a statement from Tiong, the deadline for resolving the issues of unstable water supply and low water pressure, which was set for the end of July, has long passed, and Sibu Jaya residents are still suffering from a lack of water, prompting many to protest openly.
“Today, I raised the matter at the State Development Coordination Committee Meeting convened by the State Implementation Monitoring Unit (SIMU) of the Sarawak Premier’s Office in order to seek an explanation.
“It was revealed during the meeting that JBALB had been unable to put the water supply network into service by the previous deadline due to technical problems.
“As a result, the residents of Sibu Jaya today are still suffering the grievances caused by the continuing lack of normal water supply,” he said.
He revealed JBALB also assured him during the meeting that the outstanding technical issues related to network implementation were being addressed progressively and would be resolved by the end of this month.
“Although the water supply in Sibu Jaya and Eco Garden is expected to be stable by the end of the month, history has shown that JLALB and Sarawak Water Board have not been clear or transparent in explaining (to) and informing the public of the delays or why the implementation has not been completed well in time.
“Despite many progress reports and reassurances, the public is still left waiting for a stable water supply for months and years with only their dissatisfaction and anger.
“These public agencies continue to enjoy taxpayer funds without realising that they must begin to take the people’s demands more seriously,” added Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP.
Furthermore, he asserted that any plans relating to the people’s well-being and interests must be respected because they have the right to know and hold the units in charge accountable.
Tiong, who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, emphasised that if a project is delayed for any reason, it must be clearly explained to the public rather than hidden behind closed doors from the public, as doing so would only alienate the public and result in negative perception of the responsible agencies..
Moreover, he opined that it would eventually lead to residents resorting to protests and demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction and make their voices heard.
“I remind all responsible agencies to immediately put their efforts into action to resolve the water supply problem once and for all.
“This issue has plagued the local residents for far too long. We are duty-bound to bring them out of this miserable situation efficiently and responsibly without further delays,” he stressed. — DayakDaily