Why still “tong gas” when Miri has piped gas since British colonial time?

Alex Leong

KUCHING, Dec 5: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) spokesperson Alex Leong is deeply saddened that Sarawak is still using “tong gas” 57 years later instead of switching to piped gas distribution systems directly to homes like in Miri.

According to him, Miri had already phased out the use of gas cylinders since the British colonial time and has gas supply through pipelines to houses like in Kuala Lumpur and other countries.

“57 years later, the government has failed to upgrade the gas distribution system to homes for cooking and now wants to supply the outdated red gas cylinders for Kuching and Sibu to use.

“Where is the development for Sarawak which the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) has been talking about, when the distribution of cooking gas is stuck in the British colonial era instead of going forward,” he said in a press statement today.

Leong, who is also an aspiring candidate for Batu Lintang under Sarawak Aspiration Party (Aspirasi), emphasised that Miri residents were now enjoying direct piped gas for their daily activities like cooking, bath and washing.

“Initially it was free then the price was fixed at between RM3 and 10 per month and today, it is only about RM30 to RM40 per month while tong gas is only used by mobile vendors and traders,” he added.

The benefit, he claimed, was immediately available to Peninsula when Petronas usurped Sarawak’s oil and gas through the unconstitutional Petroleum Development Act (PDA) which was enacted during the emergency rule.

“In Kuala Lumpur where piped gas has been available to many homes since the 1980s, there is no such thing as delivery of gas cylinders.

“More importantly, many people, especially Kuching residents have never heard of Miri’s piped gas distribution facility,” he said.

Leong, thus, slammed the Sarawak government’s inability to deliver piped gas to every household in Sarawak despite being one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world.

“Oil was first discovered in Miri and the first oil rig started operation on Canada Hill in 1910.

“Water, electricity and gas are the most basic facilities of a country’s infrastructure to lift the population out of poverty. Sadly, the state government has failed us,” he added.

Meanwhile, with Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) launching its entry into the state’s Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) market on Dec 2, the red-coloured tong gas will be reaching the homes, businesses and industries in Kuching and Samarahan beginning next year (2021) and extending statewide in 2022.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari also revealed that the state government will be supplying and selling the LPG to West Kalimantan, especially the villagers at the border. — DayakDaily