Irene Chang


SIBU: It is rather an unacceptable delay that after numerous complaints over the years, the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), Sibu branch is only now looking for a long-term solution to address the problem of the pontoons at Tua Pek Kong Wharf here.

Stating this, assemblywoman Irene Chang said she had personally pointed out the problem through the press on at least two occasions, once in 2016 and another time in 2018.

“Personally, I have also liaised with the officers of the SRB but each time, they would promise to look into the problem and yet until now, the problem has not been permanently resolved,” she said in a press statement issued here on Tuesday (July 7).

According to Chang as early as in Sept 2016, she had raised the issue that some of the pontoons at the wharf had their fenders missing and the connecting chains from one pontoon to the other were broken and laying in ruins.

These, she said had caused the pontoons to slant to one end and those parts that had been submerged in water to become slippery due to the moss and fungi growing on it.

It is true that they would not sink but it can still pose a danger to people who need to use the infrastructure as they could easily slip, she said and added that this is especially true for those people who need to do the loading and unloading of their cargoes.

Since the pontoons are older, then it makes sense that they are the ones which need to go, she said.

SRB needs to ensure that its contractors build the pontoons with a weight which is compatible with the metal bridge of which its end would be resting on the pontoons. This is to ensure that the same problem would not recur, Chang stressed.

It has to avoid the same existing problem to ensure that the taxpayers money is not being wasted, she said.

“In the meantime, until the problem is permanently resolved, SRB needs to ensure that there is a proper and regular extraction of the water from the pontoons.

“SRB should priorities this in the utilisation of their annual budget in providing proper and safe services and place of work to the taxpayers,” Chang said in the statement.