Sat, 9 Dec 2023



Water and power woes persist year after year: Rubin
Published on: Thursday, May 25, 2023
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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Water and power woes persist year after year: Rubin
Rubin also inquired about the State Works Ministry’s plans to address water shortages in Kemabong.  
Kota Kinabalu: Kemabong Assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang said year after year, issues of insufficient utility distribution are brought up and debated in the State Assembly, but the situation persists.

Citing electricity and water supply, he praised Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and the Water Department for giving briefings, but wants the utility firms to get it solved as soon as possible. 

“I told them (the utility companies) I would raise this matter at the State Assembly sitting because the briefing was closed door and the people did not hear it.

The people may assume we are not fighting for the issues to be resolved when, in fact, every year we debate and raise the issue at the State Assembly sitting but it still persists to this day. 

“We have power outages practically every day in Kemabong and SESB has pledged to fix it as soon as possible. However, this has been going on for nearly 10 years. 

“The Tenom-Pangi Hydro power station is in my area, yet my area is faced with insufficient supply,” he said when debating the Head of State’s Policy Speech. 

Rubin also inquired about the State Works Ministry’s plans to address water shortages in Kemabong.  

“When I asked about the status of the new water treatment plant in Kemabong, the previous Works Minister told me that all that is needed now is the design and allocations from the Federal Government.  

“I was told that construction would not begin until the design had been completed and government allocations were in place. This was the answer I got at the beginning of last year. I want to know now when construction work would begin,” he said.  

He also asked for additional funding from the Government to be used to lay gravity pipes in Kemabong as a short-term initiative while waiting for the new water treatment plant. 

“The water source in Kemabong and Tenom is not an issue. We have the Padas River, the Tomani River and countless more rivers and streams that can be used to build gravity-based water distribution networks,” he said.  

He said his state assemblyman allocation alone is not enough, thus additional funding from the Government is needed for this purpose.  

In addition, Rubin said, rural access roads are rarely maintained due to the privatisation of roads formerly managed by the Public Works and District Council.   

Since the Government sold off all the machinery in Public Works and District Councils at that time, there is nothing to use to fix the damaged roads.  

“Who do we go to now that there is nowhere for the public to air their grievances since the road maintenance has been privatised? 

“I want the Government to buy back the machinery including lorries, to be distributed to the Public Works Department and District Councils in every district, so they can get the road maintenance done when there are complaints, perhaps even conduct routine road maintenance every two weeks.  

“It is difficult to get in touch with the concessionaires, and they don’t do a good job of running things.

This calls for a reassessment. The responsibility for Sabah’s roads should not fall on the shoulders of a single concessionaire.  

“If at all possible, we should appoint a contractor for each district, not only one concessionaire handling the road maintenance for the whole of Sabah,” he said. 

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