Over the weekends, netizens cry foul of cronyism after the JKR Sarawak revealed that a simple wooden jetty project cost a whopping RM50,000.
In response to the matter, JKR Sarawak has released a statement defending the project and its costs.
According to the statement, JKR Sarawak explained that the cost estimation to build the new wooden jetty at Kampung Mutap in Bekenu was made based on its schedule of rate for the year 2020 with the rate of RM9,000 per metre cube for the belian timber used for the construction which is lower than current market price.
“Within the budget of RM50,000, we managed to design a jetty which is 15 metres in length with two staircases,” it said.
In the statement, the department also gave a chronology of the project execution, saying that JKR Miri went to the village for a site visit on 21 September 2021. “We proposed a steel jetty as it is very robust but the downside is it is much more expensive and less area of the jetty can be constructed compared to belian timber (jetty).”
“Because of that, the village chief rejected it and preferred belian timber (jetty).”
JKR Sarawak also said the village chief requested a 30-metre-long jetty with a timber hut during the site visit. “Our officer informed the village chief that her request was not possible due to the limited budget (RM50,000). She agreed that we design the jetty as per the allocated budget permitted.”
Meanwhile, it is said that one of the main reasons for the increased costs was because the river is infested with crocodiles, which meant that the appointed contractor had to take the necessary precautions.
In addition, the condition of road access to Kampung Mutap is difficult as there are no paved roads.
The contractor was awarded this project on 30 November 2021 and the contract commenced on 7 March 2022 and the scheduled completion date was 6 June 2022.
However, the jetty was completed much earlier than expected and the final site inspection was jointly carried out by JKR Bahagian Miri, the ketua kampung of Kampung Mutap, and the contractor Bukit Balat Company on 6 April.
The 15-m long jetty made of belian timber was then deemed satisfactory and completed.