20 JUNE 2013
It appears that the BN government is continuing to blame the Opposition for everything that can go wrong in this country, even using this tactic to cover up their own ineptitude and failures. The latest is Awang Tengah laying the blame for the delay of the Lawas water treatment plant on the Opposition.
In fact, the Lawas water treatment plant was delayed due to the failure of the BN government to follow proper procedures to determine the rightful owners of the NCR land on which the plant is being built. Three parties had registered their ownership claims with the Land and Survey Department but in classic case of incompetence or possibly abuse of power, compensation was paid to two of the claimants, without having the overlapping claims determined by the Native Court. The High Court in 2009 quashed the decision of the District Order releasing the payment of the compensation to the other claimants but subsequent to that, no hearing has been held before the Native Court and the third claimant Sia Tangi’s claims have remained unresolved. My firm had written a letter dated 2 August 2012 to the Registrar of the Native Court Sarawak for the hearing of the three claimants of NCR be fixed immediately, but until now, no date has yet been set.
Not surprisingly, Sia Tangi objected strenuously to the project and took action to prevent the project from being carried out on his land. I am very cognisant of the facts of this matter as I successfully defended the claimant in a criminal case against him.
For Awang Tengah to make a general statement blaming the Opposition for the delay of the project is completely unacceptable as that is an unmitigated lie. In fact, since he has brought up the matter, I found out that the project worth RM65mil was awarded to Laras Jaya Construction Sdn Bhd without an open tender. More interestingly, a company search showed that the main shareholder of this company is Awgku Jinal Abedin bin Pgn Haji Jawa, believed to be closely related to Awang Tengah. The award and handling of this project is a classic case of the BN government’s disregard for the people’s rights and welfare, as well as its complete indifference to competency, accountability and transparency, in favour of cronyism and nepotism. Other qualified companies and individuals have no chance of progressing as long as the BN rules in Sarawak.
I invite Awang Tengah to furnish me, within 14 days of this statement, with evidence on how the Opposition has delayed this project. In the absence of such evidence, we will take it that he concedes that this is purely a political statement to mislead the people of Sarawak and to cover the BN Government’s failure and worst of all, I dare repeat myself, an unmitigated lie! I will not threaten him with legal action for now; suffice we wait for his evidence that the Opposition is involved.
ADUN, N70 Ba’ Kelalan