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‘Prove we delayed project, Awang’

 | June 23, 2013

Baru Bian wants the Sarawak government to show evidence on its claims that the opposition was to be blamed for the Lawas water treatment plant construction delay.

KUCHING: Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has Sarawak Utilities Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan 14 days to furnish proof that the opposition had delayed this construction of the Lawas water treatment project, failing which he will take legal action.

Awang Tengah is also Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment as well as Minister of Industrial Development.

In a statement emailed to FMT, Bian said: “The court will be a fitting forum for the many questions concerning this project to be answered, including who the recipient of the compensation money Salli Agong is.

“Hopefully, the people will then understand better how projects are awarded and deals made in Sarawak, a land of few masters and many squatters.

“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.

“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.”

Bian said 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, including one Salli Agong, 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, the District Officer failed to call for a hearing before the Native Court and the third claimant Sia Tangi’s claims have remained unresolved.

“Not surprisingly, Sia Tangi objected strenuously to the project and took action to block the project from being carried out on his land,” he said.

He said, knowing the details of the delay, it was unacceptable for Awang Tengah to make a general statement blaming the opposition for the delay of the project.

“Awang Tengah’s accusation is completely unacceptable and an unmitigated lie.

“In fact, since he has brought up the matter, I found out that the project worth RM65 million was awarded to a company without an open tender.

“More interestingly, the main shareholder of this company is someone believed to be closely related to Awang Tengah.

“This project is a classic case of the BN government’s complete disregard for the people’s rights and welfare, as well as competency, accountability and transparency.

“Other qualified companies and individuals have no chance of progressing as long as the BN rules in Sarawak,” he said.


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