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Suspension order on sand dredging in Kadamaian
Published on: Friday, May 25, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sand-dredging operations by a company along a stretch of Kadamaian River in Kota Belud have been ordered to stop for failing to comply with the terms and conditions of contract.

State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong said the company had been issued with a suspension letter on May 18.

He said the company was awarded a three-year contract to carry out sand dredging to clear the riverbed following the deadly Ranau earthquake three years ago.

"The purpose was to clear sand on the riverbed so as to be able to cope with flood issues.

But then we realised that not only the activities became rampant, they didn't comply with the terms and conditions of the contract," he said at a press conference, Thursday.

He disclosed, among others, that the company failed to submit a performance bond in the form of a bank guarantee and insurance policies as well as appointment letters of consultants.

It also failed to appoint sub-contractors on critical areas.

Parti Warisan Sabah had last month highlighted concerns over the sand-dredging operations that it claimed to have been going on for at least six months although the award letter from the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) was dated Feb 27, this year.

The party reportedly demanded an explanation from relevant authorities so that the people would not be kept in the dark about what was going on.

According to Junz, the project was overseen by two committees, with the steering committee being chaired by the State Economic Planning Unit and the technical committee by the DID.

He revealed that the project's estimated cost was RM18.8 million to be paid in kind.

"But looking at the situation in Kota Belud, you can see more sites have been opened up.

After the contract was given to the particular company, sand mining activities started to become rampant over a couple of months. But we don't know who they are," he said.

He noted that the Land and Survey Department had taken action by suspending their activities and compounded their machineries.

"Then we realised they had been selling sand over a period of maybe six months but the Government never received any royalty," he said.

He also said the Ministry will coordinate with the Land and Survey Department to compound all the dredged sand in the area to prevent it from being sold off.

"This sand belongs to the Government," he said. - Leonard Alaza

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