Dr Sim (centre) checks his ministerial winding-up speech ahead of the sitting, flanked by his deputies Michael Tiang (left) and Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil.

KUCHING (May 24): The Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID) Sarawak has only received RM6.9 million for land acquisition out of the RM150 million allocated to the Sungai Sarawak Integrated River Basin Development (PLSB) flood mitigation project for Bandar Kuching, disclosed Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“To date, out of RM150 million allocated, DID Sarawak only received RM6.9 million for land acquisition. The RM150 million allocations as claimed by Padungan assemblyman (Chong Chieng Jen) to be there all this while were in fact never received by DID Sarawak,” said Dr Sim, who is also Deputy Premier.

He further explained the project was delayed due to various factors, including changes to the procurement method from direct negotiation to open tender by the federal government.

During a working visit to Natural Resource, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Dr Sim said the federal minister had even apologised for the various federal changes in the procurement process, which resulted in the delay in the project’s implementation.

“He promised to bring the Notice of Change (NOC) to the Minister for Economy in their federal cabinet meeting,” Dr Sim said in his ministerial winding-up speech.

Dr Sim also mentioned that the drainage improvement work at Taman Durian Burung in Kuching is included under the PLSB Sungai Sarawak project under the component of proposed flood mitigation works at federal quarters.

“As for the drainage improvement works at Taman Happy Valley, the proposal has been submitted for funding to the federal government under the 12th Malaysia Plan Rolling Plan 4 and also to the Sarawak government under the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid Term Review.”

As for the flood mitigation project (RTB) in Sibu, Dr Sim said Phase 3 of the project costing RM84 million has achieved physical progress of 95 per cent and it is expected to be completed by third quarter of this year.

Phase 4 of the project has also been approved with a cost of RM120 million and the project is currently in the detailed design stage, he added.

“Phase 5 shall be implemented to complete the loop of the flood mitigation bund link as identified in the master plan. The department has submitted this proposal of RM469 million for the approval of the federal government under the 12th Malaysia Plan Rolling Plan 4.”

In Bintulu, Dr Sim said a ‘Stormwater Management and Urban Drainage Master Plan Study for Bintulu Town’ study has been conducted, proposing solutions with an estimated cost of RM514 million.

Phase Two of the flood mitigation project in Bintulu with a scheme value of RM250 million was approved with 12th Malaysia Plan ceiling of RM4.8 million to DID Sarawak, he added.

“It comprises RTB Taman Jason, RTB Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Sebiew Chinese, RTB Traffic Police Station and dredging of Sungai Sebiew. The detailed design is expected to be completed by middle of 2023.”

Dr Sim said the project’s physical implementation will only be carried out upon the successful relocation of the squatters along the riverbank of Sungai Sebiew.

Meanwhile, he said DID Sarawak has been appointed as the implementing agency for special flood projects in Bintulu with an allocation of RM58 million under the 12th Malaysia Plan for the implementation of 12 projects.

“Out of these, 10 projects have been completed and the remaining two projects that are RTB di Sungai Sepegang, Bintulu and RTB for Kampung Assyakirin are in various stages of implementation,” he said.

In addition, Dr Sim said the federal government has allocated RM14.698 million this year for five flood mitigation projects in Sarawak.

“RTB Sungai Stakan Kuching is now under construction stage and expected to complete by first quarter of next year.”