KOTA KINABALU: A comprehensive plan covering both the near and long terms is needed to tackle treated water supply issues faced by the people of Sabah, says Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
The Sabah Barisan Nasional chief said although the state government had applied for Federal funds, the allocation alone would not resolve the problem.
“The water supply issue occurs in almost all districts in Sabah,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 6).
“The RM320mil allocation for the short term will hardly be sufficient to address the issue which continues to burden the people,” he added.
As such, the Lamag assemblyman urged the state government to come up with a long-term plan to ensure reliable water supply to both domestic and industrial consumers.
“Focus must be given on improving water management efficiency and supply coverage to the people in all districts, not just in Kota Kinabalu.
“Both the state and Federal governments must be fair in providing basic utilities because the people deserve a clean water supply,” Bung Moktar said.
He said during his time as state works minister, several proposals were made to the Sabah government for resolving its water woes.
However, he claimed, no concrete action was taken on these suggestions.
Bung Moktar also noted Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor's earlier statement that Sabah's water issues could be resolved within three years.
“It is not so easy to achieve this. There are many factors to consider, not just ensuring adequate water supply. Old pipes need to be replaced and water treatment plants must be upgraded.
“This is in addition to building new reservoirs and identifying new water sources,” Bung Moktar said.
He added that the government must proceed with plans to build the proposed Papar Dam as a new water source.
"The implementation is urgent.
“The application for funds must be submitted to the Federal Government soon,” he added.