By CHAN FOONG HIN
COMMENT: The construction of the Cinta Mata Water Dam in Tawau to serve as a long-term solution to ensure consistent and reliable water supply in the district, looks likely to be used as an election goodie to woo support for Barisan Nasional, as the project is expected to take off this August, about the time when general elections is speculated to held.
The date of the commencement of the project was revealed in a written reply by the State Infrastructural Development Ministry headed by deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan. The reply also stated that the project cost for the dam had been optimised from the original budget set in 2013, RM415.4 million to RM470.39 million, after taking into account GST and the material at current market prices.
Tawau Member Parliament, Mary Yap had promised the project to get off in June last year. As usual, BN government projects would be delayed for some time before it is really on the board and now the latest date of construction is said to be August this year.
Can we trust this; can the people of Tawau believe this.
We can expect there would be a big event, ground breaking ceremony to mark the commencement of the project. We can imagine what BN leaders would tell us, appreciate the contribution by the current regime and continue to support them.
But they would never want the public to refresh their memory, for how many years we are waiting for this project, and how the people suffered and who always have to deal with water supply disruptions.
It is every government’s responsibility to provide people with the basic amenities, including consistent and reliable water supply, regardless of who is the government of the day. As election is just around the corner, the earliest could be immediate after Hari Raya, it is most likely that the BN will turn the Cinta Mata Water Dam project into an election goodie.
Please bear in mind that, this water dam project has been highlighted as one of the manifesto in the last election by Tawau BN. Well, the promise only seems to be fulfilled, when the term ends and renewal of mandate is needed. I think the people of Tawau have their own wisdom to judge the sincerity and commitment of any politician and their political party.”
- Chan Foong Hin is Sabah Secretary cum Sri Tanjong Assemblyman