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Ministry has taken over Council roads, sewerage
Published on: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The Federal Government and State Government continue to be attentive to the needs of the people nationwide, including in the State, said Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

"The recent 2018 Federal budget shows a large part of the allocation was for Sabah and Sarawak. From the allocation worth RM280.25 billion, RM6.5 billion was set aside for rural infrastructure development, with a large part for Sabah and Sarawak.

"This includes RM2 billion for the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, RM 1.1 billion for upgrading bridges, suraus, streetlights and markets and close to RM500 million to construct rural roads and RM500 million for civil infrastructure maintenance.

"RM1.339 billion was allocated from RM104 billion for basic infrastructure development and public facilities," he said this at the opening of the Public Works Department Sabah Excellence Awards Day 2017 at PWD multipurpose hall at Sembulan, Tuesday.

Pairin said as infrastructure development is the responsibility of the department, other than the Pan Borneo project, the department has also taken over public assets such as council roads and sewerage from local authorities.

He said the management of these assets are also challenging due their state of disrepair.

Among the challenges are the need to increase manpower or absorption of experienced local authority staff, identification of old or problematic assets and application of allocation for the increase in management scope.

Pairin said the State Assembly has also approved the Sewerage Service Bills on Nov 23 where the Bills underline planning, development and management of the sewerage such as more uniform collection of taxes state-wide.

He added with the increased responsibility, it was important to improve the capability and efficiency of the organisation.

"It cannot be denied that the increase in personnel is required for the effectiveness of the department."

He said the integrity of the department's staff must always be a priority.

"On Nov 5, an anti-corruption oath taking and signing ceremony was undertaken to stress the commitment of the ministry in addressing abuses of power.

"Steps like this was important to ensure that the allocation provided are correctly utilised and the people benefit fully. Let us all fight against corruption and revive the public's confidence in the department," he said.

Also present was PWD Sabah Director Datuk Amrullah Kamal. - Neil Chan

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