Onus on MCC to use govt’s allocation to develop Miri holistically — Rep
MIRI: The Miri City Council (MCC) is set to receive RM13.91 million from the Sarawak government for its development for next year.
However, Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon expressed his doubt about whether or not the amount, which he opines as ‘limited’, could cover Miri’s overall development.
He acknowledges that from the total allocation, RM10 million would be for the construction of Miri City Hall – a project that has been pending for years, while RM2 million is slated for Bario’s landfill facility.
“The remaining RM1.91 million will be used for improvement works on road and junctions costing RM410,000, installation of street lighting (RM400,000), improvement works on ‘kampung’ (villages) and resettlement areas (RM500,000); road resurfacing works (RM400,000) and the ‘Green Market’ project (RM200,000).
“From these agenda listed in the 2019 Sarawak Budget, I cannot help but feel that more than 70 per cent of total allocation is expected to be used for the Miri City Hall project, versus the remaining 20 per cent for repairing roads and other infrastructures meant to benefit the people.
“Having said that, the MCC must be more proactive in planning the development of Miri – fully utilising the funds given by the Sarawak government is the only way to benefit the people,” he told reporters at Democratic Action Party (DAP) Miri headquarters yesterday.
Meanwhile on the parking contract issue, Dr Ting questioned MCC over the award of the contract to a private entity proposing a lower price quote than the bid forwarded by another local contractor.
According to him, the contract was awarded to a private entity in 2013, which offered a monthly rental of RM10 per parking lot. However another local contractor, who was also vying for the contract, had offered a monthly rental of RM15 per parking lot – but failed to secure the deal.
“Based on calculations, it’s clear that MCC has inadvertently lost millions of ringgit in revenue after awarding the contract to the private entity, instead of (choosing) the other local contractor who offered a higher rental rate. I am highly suspicious of the agenda behind all this, and the only way to clear this matter is to report it to the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and to have it launch investigation into it,” he said, adding that he would be visiting the MACC office in Kuching next week to report the matter.
Adding on, Dr Ting believed that MCC could ‘actually manage its own parking system, without losing millions of ringgit’ and at the same time, it could benefit the local community.
“If MCC wants to take back the (parking) management, it could set up a committee to focus on this.
“If they (MCC) doubt their ability to manage it well, I believe experience comes from years of practising.
“Even if they still want to tender out the contract, I hope they would do it in a more transparent way – to be fair to everyone bidding for it,” he stressed.
Lee (centre) presents the mock cheque to Jong (second left), as other NSJA executive committee members look on.
DR TING TIONG CHOON