Onus on MCC to use govt’s al­lo­ca­tion to de­velop Miri holis­ti­cally — Rep

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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

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