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Urge the necessary agencies and Ministry to answer for the negligence that has not only caused wastage to the State, but affected the supply of clean water to the people in Tanjung Manis

Based on the Auditor General Report 2017, even though a total of RM 902.7 million was spent on the Projet Bekalan Air Tanjung Manis(BATM) Phase 1 that started in 2013, but yet until now, the project did not achieved it intended target and the people of Tanjung Manis and the Tanjung Manis Halal Hubb reportedly until now have not received the said water supply through this supposed project.

In 25th July 2013, the State Government approved a total of RM 1.06 billion under 10th Malaysia Plan Provision for the Project Bekalan Air Tanjung Manis (BATM) Phase 1 that reported started on the month of November 2013.

Project BATM Phase 1 purpose is to transfer 125 JLH (Jumlah litre sehari) or raw water from Sungai Maaw, Sibu using the River Bank Filtration (RBF) system through the water pump station to Tanjung Manis. This is to provide a supply of raw water for the aquaculture industrial needs in the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub. Out of the 125, 30 JLH will be transferred to the water treatment plant to provide clean water to the people around Tanjung Manis. The authority body that was appointed on behalf of the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak as the enforcement officer/agency for this project is Lembaga Air Sibu(LAS).

This project BATM Phase 1 has 3 main components dan is to be carried out in 8 packages from 11 November 2013 dan is supposed to finish on the 10th November 2015 with the actual cost of RM 848.40 million. This project was awarded through direct negotiations and carried out as a lump sum where the contract specifications, design and others are provided by the Enforcement Agency.

Base on the findings of the Auditor General Report 2017, this project did not achieve its intended objective because Package 1 failed to be completed in the period agreed to produce the need raw water of 125 JLH. The main reason given is that the contractors appointed did not carry out their responsibility to finish the project according to the specifications agreed in the contract. Even though package 2-8 has been completed, it is not functional and cannot be tested because of the failure of Package 1 thus the benefits of this project could not be benefitted by the aquaculture Halal Hub Industry as well as the people in Tanjung Manis.

Package 1 includes the construction of River Bank filtration which was supposed to be finished on the 10 November 2015, but as of March 2016, the physical progress is only at 82.4% compared to the supposed 100%. Based on the AG report, based on their visit on 8th Novmber 2017, any construction activity has stopped.

As of now, RM 902.70 million has been paid for this project, including revisions to the original contract, but yet the benefits are yet to be enjoyed by the industry and the people. On top of that, there was a total wastage amounting to RM 12.02 million due to over procurement of unneeded pipes and pipping equipment which are now just left at the stockyard with grass growing over it. This again is negligence by the enforcement agency which is LAS in failing to monitor the estimate need for pipes and pipping equipment needed to avoid excess procurement which are all paid for by public funds.

Based on the feedback on the ground, until now even with RM 902.7 million spent, there is still no water supply from Sungai Maaw, Sibu to Tanjung Manis due to the failure of the project. This is a clear failure of Lembaga Air Sibu and the Ministry of Utilities Sarawak headed by YB Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi in monitoring and enforcing terms of the contract to make sure the quality of work done is up to par and also completed on the agreed time.

Thus, I urge the necessary agencies and Ministry to answer for this negligence that has not only caused wastage to the State, but affected the supply of clean water to the people in Tanjung Manis. A full investigation has to be carried out on all the different level and phases of the project to make sure that there are no elements of corruption of abuse.

The project approved and money spent should directly benefit the people as well as to encourage the growth of the Halal Hubb in Tanjung Manis which can provide more job opportunities to fellow Sarawakians. It should not be abused to benefit only a few at the expense of the people of Sarawak.

Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
Media statement by Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 6th August 2018