Sarawak has 340 sick projects, including 36 critically delayed, says Deputy Premier

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah. – ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

SIBU: Sarawak currently has 340 projects categorised as sick with 36 listed as critically delayed, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The Deputy Premier said the Covid-19 pandemic beginning in March 2020 had contributed to the situation.

"But we also have contractors who face manpower, financial or building material problems besides their sub-contractors who fail to perform.

"Now, almost four years down the road, the pandemic situation has improved.

"We want all contractors awarded any projects to deliver as scheduled and in the required quality.

"Towards this end, my message to all PWD offices in the state is to be prepared to take harsh action, from now, against those not performing to expectations.

"No more treating them with kid gloves," he said during a visit to the Sibu Public Works Department (PWD) office on Tuesday (Jan 31).

He said it was sad that projects meant for the people's benefit still suffered from delayed completion.

Uggah said the department should raise the red flag when any construction work was delayed by 60 days.

"We fear that if no action is taken, the situation can further deteriorate.

"I have said in the past that if a contractor fails to start work within one month of the site hand-over, PWD can proceed with terminating the contract," he said.

He added that the department was expected to handle more projects soon now that the state had been allowed the autonomy to implement federal projects worth RM50mil and below without referring to Putrajaya.

"That is why efficiency and productivity are very important aspects now.

"PWD director Richard Tajan too has a new KPI (key performance indicator), which is 'Zero Sick Projects'," Uggah said.

In his briefing earlier, divisional engineer John Wong Toh Koo said his office was now looking after eight projects.

They include three dilapidated schools, an agricultural station, and four road projects.

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