SIBU: Pelawan assemblyman David Wong has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on irregularities concerning the RM851mil Tanjung Manis water pipeline project.
Wong said his report on Monday (Oct 29) was lodged based on the reply that he received from the Sarawak Utilities Ministry, Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Ministry and the state Public Accounts Committee.
The contract sum for the whole project from package one to eight was RM851mil, but according to the Auditor General's report, it had increased to RM900mil.
"The whole project to be implemented in eight packages has been awarded to eight different contractors through direct negotiation, which may have cost the state government extra tens of millions of taxpayers' monies," he said.
He said according to Utilities Ministry, they could not call for an open tender "in view of the urgency" to complete the project, so as to meet the expected water demand at the halal hub in Tanjung Manis.
However, there is already a two-year delay in the project delivery.
Wong said based on the ministry's reply, although packages No.2 to 8 had been physically completed in 2016, the overall testing and commissioning of the completed works had yet to be carried out due to problem with package No.1, which is the raw water intake using riverbank filtration system.
PAC as an independent body, should have conducted a public hearing on the failed project but it failed to do so, he claimed.
"PAC chairman Aidel Lariwoo had said in a report in The Borneo Post on Oct 18 that it can only hold a public hearing after getting direction from the State Legislative Assembly.
"He had also said that it was up to Sibu Water Board (SWB) to gauge whether it had been duly completed knowing very well that the said project is not operational after a delay of more than two years," he said.
Wong said the Utilities Ministry as the project enforcer and not SWB, had the power to declare whether it had been completed.
The AG report, he said had also mentioned that the procurement of the pipes worth RM12.02mil had exceeded the actual amount.
Accompanying him to make the report were Bukit Assek and Pujut assemblymen, Irene Chang and Dr Ting Tiong Choon.
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