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Last Update: 23 Jul 2019
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Release approved RM150 million for flood mitigation in Kuching, PH fed govt urged
Posted on : 28 Nov 2018  Source of News: The Borneopost Online

KUCHING: The Pakatan Harapan federal government has been told to stop playing politics but immediately release RM150 million to the Sarawak Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID).

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth Central secretary-general Milton Foo claimed that an allocation of RM150 million had been approved for flood mitigation projects to solve flash floods in and around the city, and questioned if the allocation was still available, being reviewed or put on hold.

He said for the past few weeks he had been receiving a number of calls from concerned people who wondered if the budget of RM150 million was still available, which prompted him to make a visit to the DID office yesterday.

DID is now under the purview of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government through the Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources.

“I was told (by DID Sarawak) that the flash floods problem at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) and its vicinity which occurred last Thursday had been incorporated as one of the components under the proposed project amounting to RM150 million called ‘Pembangunan Lembaga-lembaga Sungai Bersepadu Sungai (PLSB) Sarawak’ which was funded and approved by the previous government.

“According to the officer in charge, the said project is unfortunately being reviewed by PH government and I am asking the PH in Sarawak, what do you mean by review? The fund is already there and RM150 million for Sarawak is for flood mitigation works.

“They should channel the RM150 million back to DID Sarawak, call for open tender and start the flood mitigation project in Kuching,” he stressed in a press conference at the SUPP headquarters here yesterday.

He added that the budgeted RM150 million was still on hold by the Ministry of Finance in Putrajaya and according to DID Sarawak, once the PH government has reviewed and approved it, the funds will be channelled to DID Malaysia; then DID Malaysia will channel the funds to DID Sarawak, and only then will DID Sarawak proceed with the mitigation works.

“I hope the current PH government is not stopping any funding, no more excuses by playing politics on the approved flood mitigation works at SGH area, but to immediately release the RM150 million to DID Sarawak without further delay for flood mitigation works in Kuching.

“They too can call for an open tender without further delay but don’t use tactical language ‘review’ or whatsoever, put on hold and try to twist the facts,” he urged, pointing out that people must not be left to suffer especially during the landas season.

He urged the Sarawak PH, especially Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen, who is a deputy minister in the PH federal government, to fight for the budget.

“What have you done in terms of fighting for this sum to be released to DID Sarawak, and please solve the flash flood problems immediately without further delay,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the Sarawak DAP urging the state government to explain the huge investment in a children’s hospital in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Foo said Chong, as a deputy minister in the PH federal government, should know that there is nothing wrong for the Sarawak government to invest money to get returns.

“You (Chong) are in the government, why are you saying all these unwarranted things? As a federal minister, your standard is only there?” he said, adding Chong should stop misleading Sarawakians with all kinds of accusations.