Chong: RM80 mln to upgrade 8km road too high

KUCHING: State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen is questioning the high cost to upgrade the stretch of Kuching- Serian road from Mile 10 to 15 to the tune of RM80 million.

He said the cost was ‘ beyond acceptable and reasonable’ and thus urged Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to come up with an explanation.

Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, also questioned the manner in which the contract was awarded, which he said was not done through open tender and that the project was not awarded to ‘classless contractors’.

“Given the high cost of the upgrading works for the 8km stretch of road, which is RM10 million per km, it is only right for him ( Fadillah) to give a clear explanation,” Chong told a press conference at DAP headquarters yesterday, which was also attended by Pending and Batu Kawah assemblywomen Violet Yong and Christina Chiew, respectively.

Fadillah was quoted on July 13 as saying that the project was estimated to cost RM80 million as it involved land compensation and relocation of utilities.

“The ceiling we have is about RM80 million, including land compensation, relocation of utilities and actual cost of the construction,” Fadillah was quoted as telling reporters.

Chong said Fadillah should explain why the project was not awarded through open tender, the amount for land compensation and the cost to relocate the utilities.

He also said the high cost of the project would affect the construction of the Pan-Borneo Highway and other social projects. He added that the government was ‘ paying more for less works’ as far as the upgrading of the road project was concerned.

On The Borneo Post -  24 Jul 2015