Media Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
The Minister of Works must give a full account of the collapse of Nanga Musah bridge at Song, Kapit, Sarawak.
Since the news of the bridge collapse broke out on 21.9.2023, I have waited patiently for both the authorities, the Minister of Works or the State Department of Works (JKR) to give a full account of the matter to all Sarawakian. Two weeks have passed and yet, it seems no such report is forthcoming.
Is the matter going to be swept under the carpet, like most public wrongdoing in Malaysia in the past?
The bridge was completed in 2014 at a cost of RM55 million. Less than 10 years after its completion, it now collapsed. This is definitely a construction fiasco. We are lucky that no one was hurt during the collapse. However, the fact that no one was hurt does not exonerate the wrong doings over the collapsed bridge?
The biggest irony of this construction fiasco is that it is in the parliamentary constituency of the Minister of Works!
Though it is public knowledge that the consultant of the project is PerundingIrNovaSdnBhd and the contractor undertaking the construction work is Wang Marine SdnBhd, there are still many questions that we, Sarawakians, want answers from the Government.
The government must be accountable to the people of Sarawak on the following questions:
- 1. What is the cause for the collapse of the bridge?
- 2. Was there any geotechnical engineering test on the soil strength and support for such bridge?
- 3. What were the approving process of JKR or KKR (Kementerian Kerja Raya) for the bridge and have such processes been fully complied?
- 4. Who are the engineers in the JKR or KKR who approved such design, supervised the construction of the project and issued the final Certificate of Completion for the project? Have they complied with all the regulations and preformed their duties diligently?
- 5. What action is the government going to take against the consultant (PerundingIrNovaSdnBhd), contractor (Wang Marine SdnBhd) and the approving and supervising officers in JKR or KKR over this construction fiasco?
- 6. Who shall be responsible for the costs of reconstruction of the bridge? Will Sarawakians be made to pay again from the public coffer or the culprits be held responsible? (bearing in mind that it was RM55 million back ion 2011 -2014, the costs of construction now can easily be doubled)
- 7. Given that there is now such a precedent of a collapsed bridge, what assurance can the JKR or KKR give to us Sarawakians that all the other bridges built in Sarawak under the supervision of JKR and KKR are safe for the public’s usage?
These are the 7 questions for the Minister of Works to answer. I urge the Minister to provide such answers. If he shall need further time, then a deadline must be given on when such answers are forthcoming to the public.