Deputy Sarawak Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang, who is also the minister for rural development, should be disciplined and held responsible if it is true that six out of eight rural growth centres under his ministry have failed.
"The authorities should examine why these centres are a failure, and if it is found out that they have failed, then the minister involved must take full responsibility,” Ba'Kelalan assemblyperson Baru Bian said.
Baru, who is Sarawak PKR chief, said this in reference to the latest series in the Auditor General's Report 2013, which called on the Sarawak government to restudy the implementation plan for rural growth centre (RGC) programmes in line with the current development.
"In this case the person responsible is Alfred Jabu, who is the minister in charge of rural development," Baru (right) said.
"We have spent so much money on these rural growth centres, which have been used by the state government as its political tool to buy voters.
"I remember the government announced the creation of a rural growth centre in Long Semado, just before the last state election. Until today, nothing has been done about it," he said, pointing out that it was an obvious election and political gimmick.
More RGC announcements expected
In the coming election, Baru expect more announcements on RGCs to be made.
The audit report says the State Planning Unit has approved the development of 10 RGCs throughout Sarawak.
The allocations received for the development of RGCs from the 6th Malaysia Plan to 10th Malaysia Plan totalled RM385.86 million and the actual expenditure, as at May 2014, was RM223.79 million.
The report said an audit carried out as of May this year concluded that the management of was satisfactory in terms of compliance of work procurement procedures.
However, there were delays in implementation, lack of response from the local people because of locality issues and poor maintenance of the facilities.
It said the usage and maintenance of public facilities in six out of eight RGCs visited needed to be improved, while two out of the eight RGCs, in Semop and Opar, still did not have any public facilities.
The report suggested that to overcome the weaknesses and to ensure that similar weaknesses do not recur, te state government should restudy the implementation plan for the RGCs in line with the current development.
Likewise, a comprehensive impact study to evaluate the achievements of RGC development programmes should be carried out so that the results of the study could provide inputs for improvements to the RGC development programmes.