Friday, November 18, 2011

Budget Speech DUN November 2011 Sitting (English Version)

Speech by Chiew Chin Sing, DAP Sarawak Deputy Chairman and Member of the Sarawak State Legislative Council for N59 Kidurong on the Debate of the Supply (2012) Bill 2011 and the Motion to refer the Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2011, on 18th November 2011 in the Sarawak State Legislative Council, Kuching, Sarawak.

Mr. Speaker,

Over the past years and for several times in this August House, I have raised the issue of the importance of adding a third lane to the Kidurong Road. This issue is getting to be more important now than ever. Every working day whether it is early morning or in the evening the road is jammed packed. What used to be a half a kilometer of jam, is now a kilo meter long and if the situation is not dealt with immediately it will get longer and longer and could jeopardize or even paralyses our country’s economy.

Kidurong road is one of the two most important roads in Bintulu and almost everybody there use this road every day. It is the main artery of the economy of Bintulu if not the country’s. Without which there would be no LNG production which means cutting off the major single income artery of the Federal coffer and could even bleed bankrupt our nation’s economy in no time. Without which, SCORE will come to a stand still as there are just no better ways of getting there, unless one go by boat or helicopter, but if with all that much trouble and costs, why not just build the third lanes then. That is why I urge again and again that the Kidurong road be up graded with a third lane, or even better a fourth lane as well.

Then again, we cannot just rely on a single route travelling between Bintulu and Tg. Kidurong, just in case something happens, you know what I mean, we could all get trapped. So apart from the Kidurong road, the need for building an alternative road for one to go from town to Tg. Kidurong is vital. And could the Ministry please enlighten the House on the progress of this, the priority of the works for this alternate route and the allocation for this important works.

Mr. Speaker,

Just now I mentioned about the two most important roads in Bintulu which almost everybody uses everyday. The name of the other road is Jalan Sultan Iskandar to Tun Hussein Onn Road, connecting the town to Mile six of the Bintulu /Miri road which has about 60 percent of the housing estates along the road. We need to build a third lane to this road immediately as well, and the works must not wait any longer anymore, something has to be done quickly to alleviate the traffic jam there each day.

And how about the inter connecting inside roads, between all the housing estates in this area ? I believe this is important, so that at least there are other routes to get around, instead of using the just one main road, the Tun Hussein Road. And could the Minister enlighten the House also on the progress of these inner road networks and its connectivity within this whole housing estates area. Also could the Ministry see to the repair and tar seal the short stretch of road beside house No. 556P Taman Gorent, Jalan Durian Tembaga, Tg. Batu.Bintulu.

Mr. Speaker,

During the 2009 May sitting, I have brought up the issue of the double and triple junction situations for roads between Phase II and III of the Parkcity Commerce Square in Bintulu. The junctions are very difficult to use and confusing to road users and accidents often occur. The road lines had all faded for so long already and there are hardly any road signs around either.

The Honourable Minister of Environment and Public Health then said that a proposal had been approved and awaiting implementation. But up to this day the situation there is still the same, confusing and dangerous to road users as ever while not one bit of works has begun !

Mr. Speaker, this is not just about difficulty and confusion at the junction, it is about accidents and accidents cause lives. I wish to urge that the Minister to look into this matter quickly and to make sure that improvement works is done so that the junctions are safe to use and hopefully, accidents free.

The situation at the junction in front of Farley Super market and Shell Gas Station at Medan Jaya commercial centre is about the same also. There are those coming down from the Long Distance Bus station wishing to go straight or turn right to go to Farley Super Market, and those coming in from the Kidruong road wanting to go straight or make a right turn to the Happy Garden Restaurant area, and those coming out from the Happy Garden Restaurant area wanting to make a left or right turn or going straight, and the same for those coming out from the Farley Super market, all converging at one point, at the entrance of the Shell Gas Station. The situations had been like that for many years already and had been often high lighted in the news, yet nothing is done either.

Presently there are no road lines there nor any sign boards and it really is a big headache for road users there if not an accident trap, could the Honourable Minister look into this matter urgently also.

Mr. Speaker,

On June 10 and that is about five months ago, I have filed in a case with Talikhidmat, the Public Service Help Line about the street lightings from the Daikin factory to CMS factory, off Jalan Kidurong at the 10th KM of the Kidurong Road, Bintulu, the street lightings there are still not working. No lights at nights and many have complained that it is really dangerous driving there at nights especially for those who are on night shifts. But up to this day the situation is still the same, no lights at night.

I have in July received a call from SESCO staff in Miri! saying that he could not find Daiken Factory off the Kidurong road in Miri. Of course not, I told him that it is in Bintulu and if he could please help to re-route it there.

Not too long after that, I got another call from SESCO saying that it is not under them, it is BDA’s. Mr. Speaker, many of us, as layman cannot get into that details of the jurisdictions of works! all we want is, to report the problem and have the problem solved, and I urge that the authorities to work out among themselves so that a matter reported can be sorted out and solved quickly such that we can really live up to the motto of the Public Service Help Line, ‘Your call could make a difference’ and I believe that too !

May be it is still this confusion, that today, so many street lights by the stretch are not working in Bintulu like that at the above mentioned area, airport road, mile 5 area Bintulu/Miri road, Nyabau road near the Hospital, road in front of, besides and in the Teacher’s Quarters, near SMK Kidurong , Jalan Sultan Iskandar near the church area, Tua Pek Kong side of the Jalan Masjid in town and other areas. These are lights not working at night by the stretch not to mention those that are burnt out or what, here and there.

Could the Ministry concerned please look into this also, and there is no need to wait till a complain is brought up to Talikhmat and only then action taken, but to be proactive and to go around and check for one self and rectify the problem even before a complain is made.

Of course the job of the electrical people is not just in replacing burnt out bulbs or fixing streets lights that are not working, but also to see where streets lightings or additional streets lightings are needed, like for example the right angled road connecting the Sg. Plan Resettlement Lots to the Sg. Plan Shop House and Flat , the stretch of about 300 meters of right angled road, used by thousands of people of Sg. Plan Terrace Housing from Phase 2 to Ph 5 and the thousands living in flats but are all without street lighting at that road! It is the fervent hope of the people there that the road there be installed with street lightings immediately. And would the ministry also look into the over stressed Belian electric post at the Kemena Industrial Estate, near the charcoal factory, post no KIE 46, the stay wire is hanging loose too !

Mr. Speaker,

More and more big trucks and trailers are on the road these days and it is a good signs that things are moving, business is running and people have work. But coming along with that are some issues which need to be addressed so that the interests of all is guarded.

Apart from overloading which is always a factor of fare structure and cost for business, I urge that the Ministry concerned to look into the trucks park on road side for stops to rest, to catch a bit or whatever at wherever there are shops nearby, for them to do so.

This is causing problems for others going in and out of the shop house areas as some are parked too close to the junction at the road side blocking off the view of the drivers going in and out of the shops area, like that at mile 5, Bintulu/Miri Road. Another thing is that often these road side shoulder cannot take the weight of the trucks and as a result the shoulder get dented leaving behind big holes on the road sides. Comes another truck the holes is made even bigger. We see that along the major roads all the time don’t we.

I have seen in other countries and there were always provisions for big trucks like these, truck stops, rest areas and what not. Couldn’t we have for them also some special place like these, easy to use and functional, so that they can get good food, rest well, work happily and earn good money.

Could the Honourable Minister look into this also so that we can make our big trucks transport industry safer and even more prosperous.

Another thing is the big earth filling trucks going through the housing estates. I must thank BDA for asking the contractor to slow down while driving through these areas, including erecting road signs on the road side at MLNG residential estate. I urge that those involved to take this matter seriously, as I am still seeing those returning empty trucks zooming through the Housing estate. However the road linking the SMK Baru to the Nyigu road still remains pretty much the same, since I brought it up the last time in this Dewan.

This is also the case now, of the big earth filling trucks going through Jade Garden, en routing Taman Bandar Jaya and others, residents there all complained that the trucks are moving too fast, It is dusty on sunny days and dirty from the dropping soil on rainy days. The housing estates roads are being damaged also.

Mr. Speaker, there are more and more cars parked for years at a same spot, at many of the parking lots of shops in minor shopping areas like that at Berjaya Commercial Centre, Desadamai Commercial Centre, Taman Ria Commercial centre and others. Many of these cars had been discarded there just like that. It is not only occupying up the much needed parking space but also unhealthy and an eyesore. I urge that the Ministry to do something about this also.

Mr. Speaker,

Since the last DUN sitting after I have brought up the land at Kampong Jalan Masjid, Bintulu Town, to be acquired for a Kampung Heritage Project, the people there are most unhappy about the compensation and more still their land which is under the name of being acquired for public purpose would probably end up being used commercially in the name of some private entity.

The irony of this is, as just a stone throw away, there is the old airport state land, 2 big lots had been given to private company without open tender. State prime land given to private company while kampong peoples’ prime land taken away for public purposes.

Today the government is acquiring yet another 302.9 hectar of the NCR land of the people of Kampong Nyalau for the Samalaju Industrial Park and Township, again taking away the land of the kampong people in the name of using it for public purposes but eventually probably ending up in the name of some private entity again.

Is the government doing the same thing again like in the development of the Bintulu town, taking away the kampongs peoples’ land , with such minimal compensation and then give the land to a private developer to build a whole township, selling one million ringgit for a shop lot unit today. Why can’t the government take in the landowners themselves and let them be a part of the township development and share the profits from the development. Isn’t this the opportunity that we can make the kampong people rich also. No wonder 50 of them from Kpg Nyalau had signed a petition 16.8.2011 addressed to BDA and copy to Land & Survey and the Ministry, asking that they be excluded from the acquired land.

Then again, why does the government only take the land from the people of Kuala Similajau, why can’t she gives some land to the people there as well. Like those who applied for a kampong land at Kuala Similajau. 159 them had submitted name to apply in the year 2007, here it is, yet the Minister said he has no record ! It is not just the Samalaju industries or township that need land, people need land also.
And when there is no land title involved in land acquisition, the government simply give provisional liscense to some companies over the land, like those rural land, and then ask the company to chase the people staying on that land out, saying that they have trespassed the land. Like the NCR land of Rumah Sengok, Sg. Binyo, Pandan, Bintulu, folks there had planted 4.8 hectre of palm oil on their own NCR land, but Land and Survey had issued them a letter on 17th of August 2011asking them to vacate and leave the land as the said land had been allocated for Planted Forest Project at Kawasan EID Sg. Binyo.

President S.M. Mohamed Idris of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) –Friends of Earth Malaysia, an independent national environmental organization which campaign against the deterioration of the Malaysian environment and the destruction of our invaluable resources, in a letter to Land and Survey on the 23 of August 2011, said that and it is in BM,

Pertamanya, Penduduk Rumah Sengok adalah dari kaum Iban yang mempunyai hak Native Customary Rights (NCR) keatas Wilayah Sempadan Tanah Pemakai Menoa mereka secara sah . Mereka telah sekian lama mempunyai kebebasan untuk mempratikkan cara tradisi hidup mereka dalam kawasan Sg. Satai, Pandan, sebelum kedatangan Rajah Brooke dahulu. Kami difahamkan bahawa mereka mempunyai rekod dan dokumentasi sejarh yang jelas sebagai bukti untuk menyokong hak NCR mereka di kawasan pemakai menoa mereka.

Why does the government have to keep on and on knocking on the doors, or breaking in the doors, of the rural people try to take away their lands one way or another. People need land also, even after 1958, they still need land and lands should be made available for them to live on, to build home and to farm or plant some palm oil.
Take for example , Folks of Kampong Sg. Melaban at KM 10 Jalan Similajau Sg Plan, Bintulu they need land also. They have applied for the kampong land since 2005 and today they receieved a letter from Sarawawk Pulp Industries Sdn. Bhd., asking them to vacate the land. Apparently someone else’s application has more weight than the peoples’. Why the company and not the people been given the land?

Or, the folks staying in shack housing at BDA Pasir Putih, and on the opposite side, Sg. Plan Shack Housing, Kidurong Road, about 500 hundred families in all. These shack housing kampongs had been there since the birth of the new Bintulu. They have applied for land lot so that they can have a roof over their heads, to build their own houses to stay in, but up to this day there is still no reply from the government, except that from the company saying that the land is theirs now and the people must leave. But where to go? They have too written a letter of appeal on the 10.8.2011 to BDA and the Ministries to help them.

Mr. Speaker, just as the government need land to build township, people need land to build kampong to build houses to live in. A roof over one’s head to raise a family is a basic human right ! Can’t the BN government do just that ? I urge that government to open up kampong land immediate to accommodate these shack housing people along the Kidurong road. They are our brothers and sisters after all, aren’t they?

Apart from land to live on, the people also need land to do some farming. Many of the industrious rural folks from whatever saving they have, want to plant palm oil, they have no channel to apply for land, or if they apply it will be rejected anyway, so they plant on what ever land that are vacant. I urge that the government allocate land for these small time farmers instead of taking action to chop down the palm oil which they have planted.

Mr. Speaker,

Folks of Medan Jaya, Assykirim commercial centres together with Kampong Assykirim and Taman Fortune Park are very concerned about flood in their areas again this rainny season. Just as I have brought the matter up in the May 2010 and 2011 Dun Sitting but up to this day still nothing had been done yet.

The Honourable Minister in the last sitting said that his ministry will look into this, folks living there know that if tomorrow a heavy rainfall come they will be flooded again. This is a very serious matter as the hardships and losses to be faced by the businesses and homes are great and unnecessary and can be prevented if something is done.

I urge the ministry to share the worries and cries of the people doing business or staying there so that they will not suffer anymore the horror of being flooded again.

Mr. Speaker,

Mr. Ambau Anak Uding whose house is just about 100 yards pass the Sg. Sebemban Bridge, going towards Tatau side, at KM 30 Jalan Bintulu/ Tatau, asked that JKR to put in the culvert under the bridge at the entrance of his house. This is because JKR had earlier widen the road side drain at the entrance and removed his old culverts, saying that they would put in some bigger ones. The widening works not only jepordise his bridge but also cause land side on his land and on the road which could cave in any time. I urge JKR to take action on this quickly before any thing bad happen.

Thank You.

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