Tiong said any amount of heavy rain would result in drainage overflowing and flooding, and no matter how well-built a flood mitigation system is, without proper and regular maintenance, it will only result in more flooding.
SIBU (June 11): The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) must explain why its contractor is limiting the frequency of drainage dredging to only once a year when the risk of flooding here is very high, said Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing.
He said any amount of heavy rain would result in drainage overflowing and flooding, and no matter how well-built a flood mitigation system is, without proper and regular maintenance, it will only result in more flooding.
“If the contractor only carries out drainage dredging once a year, it will simply be a waste of public funds,” he said in a statement today.
Tiong was referring to the many complaints against the SMC contractor received by his service centre here ‘neglecting’ local drainage maintenance.
Tiong said he had personally gone down to the ground at Jalan Then Kung Suk to better understand the situation, and at a glance it became painfully obvious how badly the drainage maintenance contractor had failed to meet expectations.
“The locals also cannot remember when the last dredging work was carried out, with so much mud, sediment, industrial waste, and garbage accumulated in the drains.
“This is shocking and disgusting to say the least, as there are even whole sections of fallen trees lying in the drains. Is the contractor really so blind to all these?”
Tiong said what was even more outrageous and disappointing was the way complainants were kicked around to various authorities for raising the drainage issues.
“Some have even said that they had been warned off by the contractor. This is unacceptable as the rakyat were simply voicing their concerns, and do not deserve to be told off.”
Without mincing his words, the Bintulu MP said this was the first time he had ever encountered such unbearably poor service quality in all his years in politics.
When he sought explanations from the representatives of the SMC and the contractor, Tiong said he was told an even more unreasonable condition placed by the authorities, which was to limit the frequency of dredging to only once a year.
“This is an incredibly low amount of effort compared to how much work is actually needed to control the flow of water in the local drainage system for effective flood mitigation.
“If the scope of the contractor’s responsibility is too large to effectively handle the maintenance and dredging work, why did the SMC simply ignore it rather than conducting reviews to find ways to improve the quality of service for the people?”
He said SMC and the contractor’s excuses were just inexcusable, and they should not be allowed to treat the people’s issues so irresponsibly.
“Contractors cannot take their work so lightly to think that the drains will take care of themselves. If a single contractor cannot handle the workload, the SMC should obviously appoint more contractors, rather than allowing such poor performance to continue.”
Tiong suggested that SMC should also discuss matters relating to the existing contractors because it is obvious that some of them have certain ‘relationships’ with people in authority which allowed them to be appointed in the first place.
“It is beyond shameful for these people to line their own pockets while allowing substandard work that does not serve the people’s interests.”
Tiong said he had already advised all civil servants in Sibu during the election period that it was time to wake up and do their work.
“You must feel ashamed for letting past complaints go unsolved. It is time for a new way of working with clear responsibility and dedication to serving the people of Sibu.”