Federal BN ministers have been bluffing the voters of Sarawak, especially during election times, with their promises of mega projects worth millions or even billions of ringgit to be implemented in the state.
This was to make Sarawak voters, who are their ‘fixed deposit’, happy, but the local people never realised that all these were mere bluffing, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said today.
“A Sarawak state minister has given strong proof of BN’s bluffing, rhetoric and broken promises on development projects that are to be implemented in Sarawak,” Baru (right) said.
He was referring to the statement by Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Michael Manyin that the money promised by Putrajaya never came and the projects could not be implemented.
Manyin told the press on Monday that Sarawak has been waiting for RM1 billion the federal government promised for the construction of road projects in the state.
These projects include the RM400 million trunk road from Kanowit to Kapit, the RM150 million Batang-Samarahan bridge, RM145 million bridge from Emart to Batu Kawah and the RM80 million dual carriageway from Km16 to KM24 of the Kuching-Serian Road.
"We have quite a number of big projects under the federal government which have not taken off until today.
"Funds for the projects are approved, but we are still waiting for the directives for the tendering of the projects," said Manyin, expressing hope that the state could get all these things done within the next few months.
The money for the Kanowit-Kapit road project was announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak before the last parliamentary election, following complaints by the people of Kapit that they have been waiting for the road for the past 50 years.
The project should have begun by now and be completed by 2016.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had early this year announced the allocation of RM1 billion to repair schools and build new ones in Sarawak.
More than 600 schools, especially those in the rural areas, are in urgent need of repairs.
'Federal government has no funds'
Asked to comment on Manyin's grouses, Baru, who is the Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson, said the federal government has no funds.
"They are only bluffing us Sarawakians and we have been taken for a ride all this while.
"Nevertheless, we will wait for a few more months to see whether the federal government delivers or not," he said.
Meanwhile, his colleague and Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How called on Chief Minister Adenan Satem to get down to improving the state administration and pay attention to the delivery of rural development projects on schedule.
“We are constantly faced with rural development projects being delayed and the people deprived of the benefit of such projects,” See said, citing the delay of bridge projects in Kampung Sekendu and Sungai Lingkau in Simunjan as examples.
Construction works for these two projects proceeded and stopped after six months, causing inconvenience to the affected villagers, he told a media conference.
He called for transparency and accountability, with the state government erecting signboards to indicate the projects, the contractors, the start, completion and handing over dates and the costs of the projects.
“This will allow the councils and the local people to monitor the progress of projects,” See added.