Sarawak premier warns errant, incompetent contractors against delays in completing projects

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, Feb 8 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today warned errant and incompetent contractors that the state government will not tolerate them anymore for the delays in completing projects on schedule.

He said they have a lack of commitment and poor performance in completing government projects, pointing to the state Public Works Department's (JKR) report that there are delays up to three years.

“As of January 27 this year, out of 215 projects under construction, 34 projects are critically delayed, 29 projects are behind schedule and 149 projects on schedule,” he said at the opening of a seminar on enhancing Sarawak’s construction industry at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

He cited a case of the construction of a museum building, costing RM10 million, in Limbang which was delayed by a year.

“I asked them the reason for the delay. They replied the roofing materials have not arrived from New Zealand,” he said, adding that there is no need to import the materials when the contractor can get the supply locally.

“The cost is not much, just RM10 million,” he said.

He pointed to another upgrading of five roundabouts along the Kuching-Samarahan expressway which has been delayed by two years. He said this project was awarded to a Bumiputera company more than two years ago but it was terminated, and a non-Bumiputera company was appointed to rescue it.

The rescue contractor was told to complete the project aggressively, but in the process, it caused massive traffic jams.

The premier said the proposed Marudi bridge over the Baram river in Miri Division was another delayed project by about three years.

“I visited the project site three times and what I saw were only poles covered with creepers,” he said.

Abang Johari said the public blamed the Sarawak government for the delays in all these projects due to the irresponsible and lack of commitment of the contractors.

“That is why the state government and the contractors need to work together, especially the Bumiputeras who are given the jobs, please do it, and try to simulate the projects itself so that you know how to manage and implement it,” he said.

He advised the Bumiputera contractors to work with their non-Bumiputera counterparts to complete the projects on schedule.

“Hence, all contractors are hereby reminded to be serious and more committed when it comes to the implementation of projects under the purview of the Sarawak government,” he said.