DALAT, Dec 10 — Sarawak Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) has drastically reduced the number of sick infrastructure projects by strictly enforcing rules for the contractors undertaking state government jobs, its minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.
He said there were over 100 sick projects, mostly involving roads and bridges before he was appointed as the minister in 2022.
“But now there are only four of them still left,” he said at the opening of the Phase 1 Dalat waterfront project here.
He said one of the rules require the contractors to start their work within a month after the handing over of the sites, failing which their contract will be terminated.
Uggah, who is also the Deputy Premier, said the rules for the contractors undertaking the state government projects is that they must expedite their completion.
“We have the rules, for example, if the handing over of a new project is done on January 1 next year, there must be some kind of activities going on at the sites by the end of that month,” he said.
He said the state JKR (Public Works Department) will not hesitate to terminate the contracts with the contractors if the rules are not followed.
“If there is no movement at the site, then JKR will terminate the contract in that month.
“This means that the cost of rescuing the project will not be that much and it is also easier for us to salvage it,” he said.
Uggah cited, as an example, a bridge in Spaoh in Betong Division, it took years to complete with the appointment of a rescue contractor.
He also wanted the state JKR to ensure that the RM14.5 million Melanau Heritage Gallery in Dalat to be completed according to schedule.
He said the state JKR is in the process of appointing consultants for the project.
“My message to the state JKR is to do your work as fast as possible, avoid delays, avoid all the unnecessary bottlenecks and I am sure you can do it,” he said.
He also asked the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) elected representatives to contact him directly if they come across problems in completing infrastructure projects in their constituencies.
“If you don’t have my handphone number, then it is a big problem. So you better get my handphone number so you can communicate with me,” he said.
“That is how we do our work and my handphone is open 24 hours,” he added.