By Nigel Aw
The Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) had proposed the construction of the RM20.43 million Batang Strap Bridge in Sri Aman Sarawak, forgetting a link road to nearby villages, according to the Auditor-General Report 2011.
The result – a 182.4 metre concrete bridge that connects the nearby town Pekan Pantu to shrubs on the other side of the river.
"An audit survey on Dec 17, 2011 of the project site at Pantu, Sri Aman found that the concrete bridge project worth RM20.43 million could not fully stimulate the local economy after completion as the 10km road across the river to link the long houses and schools there had not been built," the report reads.
Without the 10km road, it adds, some 23 long houses with a population of 3,000 and four schools have no access to the bridge and beyond to Pekan Pantu.
In a March 7 reply, the department said it will propose the construction of the road, estimated to cost RM50 million in the third rolling plan under the Tenth Malaysian Plan.
"As a temporary measure, JKR proposed to construct a 500m dirt road to connect to the logging road to the Batang Strap bridge at an estimated cost of RM500,000," it said.
This was among several projects under a special RM1 billion allocation from the federal government for road upgrades and construction in Sarawak.
An audit at the federal levelhad rated the 175 projects as "less than satisfactory" due to delays and poor quality .
'Gov't property used for homes'
Meanwhile, in Johor, the Auditor-General's Report 2011 found that state government property had mysteriously found themselves as new furnishing for private homes.
The total of 39 items worth RM55,360 supplied by the Johor Menteri Besar's Office were intended for the premises of associations and organisations in Muar, Kluang and Ledang.
Other than furnitures and electronic gadgets, the other items include:
- BOB-KA-9000 professional digital echo mixing amplifier (RM2000)Air conditioners (RM3,000);
- Laptops and desktops (RM1,700 – RM5,000);
- Electrolux range hood: E11-15024 & Electrolux built-in hob: E-10-42299 (RM4,500);
- Kitchen cabinet full high (23′x108′) (RM5,000); and,
- Steamer 26″ CNI (RM1,550)
"This is against the issued guidelines and therefore the targeted groups could not benefit from these equipment," states the report.
In another matter, the audit report said that Permodalan Kedah Berhad (PKB) lost RM1.78 million to former joint-venture partner Mega Mandate Sdn Bhd (MMSB) as the former continued to pay half of its profit to the latter even though the joint venture for a clay mining project had expired in 2008.
"PKB had signed a new agreement with La Farge Cement Industries Sdn Bhd in 2008 for a period of five years for 2008 to 2013.
"The audit found even though the new agreement did not involve MMSB, the company was still paid 50 percent of sales profit," finds the report. – Mkini