Covid-19 among challenges causing RTP delays this year

Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure and Port Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing (second left) speaking with Infrastructure and Port Development Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi (third left), JKR director Datuk Zuraimi Sabki and Infrastructure and Port Development Sarawak permanent secretary cum organising chairman of the event Datuk Safri Zainudin while State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion look on after officiates the workshop at UCSI hotel, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Out of 2,721 approved Rural Transformation Projects (RTPs) for this year, only seven projects or 0.3 percent have been completed thus far due to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other challenges.

In comparison, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said that in 2015, 99 percent of approved RTPs for that year were completed, 98 percent for 2016, 96.2 percent for 2017, 91.9 percent for 2018, and 71.2 percent for last year.

He said that a total of RM2.94 billion had been allocated for the period of 2015 to this year to implement 12,729 RTPs in the state.

“As at Sept 17 this year, out of 12,729 projects, 8,948 projects or 70.3 percent has been completed while the remaining 3,781 projects or 29.7 percent is in various stages of implementation.”

He said this when officiating the workshop on administration of contracts towards project delivery excellence for Sarawak government projects at UCSI Hotel here today.

He explained there were other challenges apart from Covid-19 causing project delays, and these challenges would be raised by project implementers and discussed in this three-day workshop.

“We cannot work in silos; everyone has to work together to benefit the people of Sarawak.”

Masing, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, said he was quite happy with the implementation of RTPs as every three months, the Chief Minister chaired a meeting for all divisions and stakeholders to discuss and resolve issues.

“This year, the RTPs are certainly delayed from the original schedule, but we can roll them on for next year.”

On the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), he said to date, there was a total of 1,500 state-funded projects with a ceiling of RM37.11billion approved for implementation under 11MP.

He said that of these 1,500 projects, 954 were physical projects while the remaining 546 were non-physical.

“As at Sept 30 this year, out of the 954 physical projects, 485 projects or 50.8 percent has been completed while the remaining 469 projects or 49.2 percent is in various stages of implementation,” he said, expressing overall satisfaction with the progress of 11MP.

In this regard, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion explained that not all projects commenced in the first year of 11MP and some could take two to three years to complete.

“Some projects start in the third or fourth year of the Plan, and these projects which are not completed in the current Plan will be continued in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).”

Also present were Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy State Financial Secretary Datuk Dr Wan Lizozman Wan Omar, Deputy State Secretary (Socio-Economic Transformation) Datuk Seri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, and Public Works Department Sarawak director Datuk Zuraimi Sabki.