Call for Gov’t to solve basic infrastructure woes
The Government has been urged to solve the problems affecting the people as soon as possible so that they can improve their economic well-being. Making the call, the Sabah Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) said the relevant Ministries and Departments should focus on improving basic facilities such as rural roads. “The allocations for the people’s representative are not enough for the construction and repair of roads, drains, culverts or bridges,” said Datuk Rubin Balang after chairing a five-hdur meeting of the BNBBC at the State Legislative Assembly building here yesterday. According to Balang, the BNBBC will send a resolution on how to channel the allocation to solve the problems regarding basic amenities including the construction of culverts and bridges on roads under the Public Works Department’s jurisdiction. “This has been discussed withPWD and they have applied for allocations, but these will only be given in a year’s time, so the villagers’ problems will stifi remain unsolved,” he said. Balang added that part of the problem is the shortage of Grader machines, citing the delay in the construction of roads in Tenom as the PWI) has only one Grader machine to repair roads in two State constituencies. “Therefore, we hope the Infrastructure Development Ministry can fmd a solution to the problem and to expedite repairs to damaged roads especially in this uncertain weather,” he said. A district-level committee chaired by the District Officer could expedite the allocation for small projects under PWD and Sabah Land Development Board which used to be channelled through the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS), he said. The meeting also called for solutions to the problems caused by the price hikes of fuel and food, including a review of the subsidies for fishermen, breeders and farmers. “We urge the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to give a clear explanation to the public on oil subsidies for breeders, farmers and fishermen in the State since there have been rumours about it. “We also urge the Ministry to form a Department, whether in the District Office or a Federal or State Government agency, to process applications for the subsidy so that people do not have to go to Kota Kinabalu,” he said. As the allocation for people’s representatives is only RM500,000 each, it can only cover small projects, he said, adding they are still waiting for a special RM400,000 allocation from the Federal Government for each State Assemblyman. The meeting elected Balang as Chairman, Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Louis Rampas as Vice Chairman, Bernard Dalinting as Secretary and Gum-Gum Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Idri as Treasurer, with all Assemblymen as committee members.