84 sick projects in Sarawak despite JKR’s sophisticated SOP

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KUCHING: Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) has been urged to review its work process to minimise the occurrence of sick projects in the state.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the department had already a sophisticated standard operating procedure yet the problem still existed.

“There are currently 84 sick projects in the state despite the sophisticated SOP.”

“The question is – why is this still happening?” he questioned this when witnessing the handing over of responsibilities from the Ministry retiring Permanent Secretary Datuk Safri Zainudin to his successor Chiew Chee Yau at Wisma Bapa here today.

Uggah, who is also the Deputy Premier stressed that it was extremely critical that they can eventually be completed because the people and the government have very high expectations for JKR and the ministry to deliver.

“So, our priority is to come with action plans to ensure they will be successfully implemented.”

“Not only the MIPD or the JKR that were entrusted to deliver but all agencies under the ministry. All must work closely together,” he said.

He said there were currently about 9,000 projects worth more than RM48billion and five ports under the ministry.

He added that the successful completion would spur further economic growth and improve the people’s livelihoods.

The ceremony was also witnessed by Uggah’s two deputy ministers Datuk Majang Renggi, Aidel Lariwo as well as the State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and his two deputies Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Marzuki and Datuk Ik Pahon. Also present were JKR acting director Richard Tajan and a Political Secretary to Sarawak Premier Dr Richard Rapu.

Uggah was confident under Chiew and with his vast working experiences in JKR; the latter could help the ministry, JKR and all other agencies to rise to the occasion.

On another related issue, he said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg too wanted the MIPD to review the overall policies, development and strategies of the five ports.

“These ports are very crucial….they are arteries of the state’s further growth as well as to support Sarawak’s target to achieve between six and eight per cent growth in its Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030,” he said.

“This depends a lot on our ports efficiency, development and the ability to offer world class service to our clients, most of whom are foreign investors. So we too must plan out our strategies to achieve this target,” he added.

The port’s administrations, he stressed, need to be prepared to seek out and adopt the latest high technologies to enhance their services and performances.

“So, I hope our new permanent secretary can play his role to chart out these enhancements.”

Meanwhile, Datuk Safri who retired today after a six-month extension – has been the Ministry Permanent Secretary for 13 years.

He has served in the state civil service for 40 years, beginning as an engineer at the JKR headquarters in Kuching and serving in Sibu and Kapit Divisions.

His successor Chiew started as an executive engineer with a private firm before joining the JKR in August, 1999.

He too had served in various capacities in Sri Aman and in the department headquarters including a stint as a project manager for the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak.

In March last year, he was appointed as an acting deputy director of the department.

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