KOTA KINABALU: Tired of social media "highlighting" the poor condition of suspension bridges in Sabah, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Bung Moktar Radin says a comprehensive solution is needed.
Bung Moktar, who is also state Works Minister, said such structures were under the purview of several authorities that needed to work together to identify which ones needed repairs.
He suggested appointing a consultant to carry out a comprehensive assessment of such bridges across the state.
His statement came amid frequent social media messages highlighting students crossing rivers over dilapidated bridges, with the latest one being in northern Pitas district.
"We need to resolve this... I will wait for the Chief Minister's return as I have a plan for us to appoint a consultant to assess how many bridges (need repairs).
"I also want district officials to look at the needs for such crossings in their administrative areas and make a report to the state Rural Development Ministry.
"A copy of their reports should also be forwarded to us (Works Ministry) so that we can collaborate on resolving these issues.
"Otherwise, every week there will be (something going) viral on social media (to make it) seem as though the government is not responsible," he told reporters here on Monday (Aug 8).
"When it comes to the question of these bridges throughout Sabah, there are thousands of them, I don't even know how many because there are village bridges, temporary bridges... and many different authorities.
"The district council is there, the district office is there, the government agencies are there, but unfortunately when you mention a bridge, the Public Works Department (JKR) is (presumed to be) responsible," he added.
On a lighter note, he said that when he was schooling in Kinabatangan, students crossed the river in a sampan but there was no social media to highlight it back then.