Media Statement by Chiew Chin Sing, Chairman DAP Bintulu Branch , DAP Sarawak Deputy Chairman and Sarawak State Assemblyman for Kidurong on 18.7.2012
I call on the government to stop allowing a single, private firm to house all the workers at the Samalaju project in their workers camp.
There are over 4000 workers now living in the workers camp, all being handled by a single company.
When this concept first came out, the general public were already against it. They said that the government should not allow a single company to control all the business of lodging and food of the workers at the Samalaju Industrial Park. I have also said both in and outside the State Legislative council that the government must allow more people to participate in this business including allocating venues and licenses for people to operate.
It is now clear that monopoly business only make the company rich while the benefits it brings to the workers may not be better than that by open market business. This is because if there is no competition how could there be progress and better services.
Monopoly business has a supporting hand behind and when the money is received how is the service? Monopoly business also monopolized the choices of the consumer. To day, we are seeing and hearing so much about the problems at the workers camp from water supply, hygiene, food, queuing and others. In fact the problems related to management like people of many backgrounds and culture living together are many. Day before, a serious fighting had broken out and it is fortunate that the matter had not turned into an racial issue.
At the May State Legislative Council meeting I had brought up the question of open tender for the operating workers camp in Samalaju Industrial Park. The Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah said then that the development of the workers camp there was implemented by the private sector and does not have to follow the normal Government contract and tender procedures in the implementation of this project. He added that the role of the government is purely to facilitate the project like in any other private sector project.
I believe that had there been the normal contract and tender procedures while allowing more to participate in this work, many of the contract requirements would be included in the scope of work, like contractor capability, handling of understanding and respect for people of different cultures staying together including emotion, tension management, as well as others like human resource requirement and security too.
I went and visited the injured and I hope that they would recover soon and be back to work. This act of violence must be condemned as Malaysia is a nation of rule by law and matters could be resolved through process of the law while those involved with violence must be punished.
I therefore call on the government to be reasonable and transparent when implementing projects so as to avoided all the necessaries happenings.
Chiew Chin sing.