Closure of Jalan Masjid irks public, says Yong

KUCHING: The public are unhappy and complaining about the closure of Jalan Masjid in front of the Yayasan Sarawak building for more than six months for the purpose of private usage or construction, said Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

She told a press conference at Jalan Masjid today that no prior notice on the road closure was given to the public.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong

“When we visited the site, we found that half of the road has been taken up by whosoever who is carrying out the Yayasan Sarawak upgrading building projects and there are no project sign boards in the area,” she said.

Yong further questioned whether there was any approval from the relevant authority to close half of the road.

“Kuchingites know that this access road is for public vehicles and today, we see the road has been taken up for private use and that a driveway ramp has been constructed on half of Jalan Masjid.

Yong showing the closure of Jalan Masjid and construction of a driveway ramp on half of the road.

“I want to know who gave the approval and whether any building plans had been submitted to the relevant authorities or agencies for permission to build the driveway ramp on half of the road,” she added.

Yong pointed out that the closure of half the road had caused discomfort to motorists who had to take a detour by using the Jalan Masjid Health Clinic road to exit to the other side.

The entrance to Jalan Masjid is closed off for construction purposes.

She asked why Yayasan Sarawak had to take up half of the road to construct a side entrance when the building entrance faced Padang Merdeka.

“Was any compensation paid to the state government to use this section of the road?” asked Yong.

She told reporters that she would find out from Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) whether any building plans or construction approval had been given to the contractors of the Yayasan Sarawak projects.

The other half of Jalan Masjid is currently in a bad condition.

“If there are any upgrading works, a government agency like Yayasan Sarawak still needs to follow the rules and regulations.

“Even the local authorities or the State Planning Authority (SPA) will require the applicants to follow the proper rules and regulations in accordance to the Building Ordinance and other relevant laws.

“Why are these sudden projects carried out without the public’s knowledge?

“There are certain rules or regulations that need to be adhered to and if the government always insists that the public abide by the rules, it, too, needs to do the same in order to set an example to the public.

“Therefore, I will give time to the council, SPA and even the government to come up with the proper answers to all these queries,” she added.