Hastening project execution

State, federal govts to form joint-committee to make it easier for Sarawak to carry out development plans

Abang Johari (centre), Subromaniam (left) and Sharifah Halimah look at the monitor during the symbolic launching of the 83rd Malaysian Customs Directors Meeting at a hotel in Kuching. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Plans are underway to establish a joint-committee between the Sarawak and federal governments to oversee the implementation of projects in the state.

This was revealed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who pointed out that the setting up of such committee was proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself.

“The joint-committee will serve as a valuer on projects to be implemented in the state,” he said when officiating at the 83rd Malaysian Customs Directors Meeting at a hotel here yesterday.

He acknowledged that the state government was restricted by the many bureaucracies it had to go through in getting funds from the federal government.

“Sometimes the allocation is there but the implementation of the project is slow as it needs to go through the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) which does not even know the location where we want to develop the project.”

He cited the construction of a school as an example, where the EPU did not know where to place the school and the approved school was constructed next to a river, which resulted in the school collapsing into the river four years later.

“This is what we are facing in Sarawak and I have since discussed with the Prime Minister to establish a joint-committee to oversee the implementation of projects that we are carrying out in the state.”

He hoped through the joint-committee, both the state and federal governments would be able to identify suitable locations to carry out various projects including building of schools and even Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Customs) offices in need of upgrading works to improve their service.

“We appreciate the contribution of Customs and to reciprocate we have since approved projects to improve facilities including the upgrading of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes in Tebedu and Sungai Tujuh in Miri.”

Meanwhile, Abang Johari disclosed that the state government was striving to raise the state’s revenue from various sources so as to carry out developments, particularly infrastructure facilities in rural areas.

“We are looking at various constitutional aspects on how we can levy taxes on our existing resources to increase the state’s revenue which in turn, would then raise the state’s economy,” he said, adding that the state’s value-added resources was the third largest contributor to its gross domestic product (GDP) at present.

On another matter, he called on Customs Department to apply the latest technology, particularly in their enforcement, in view of the rapid technological development and demanding challenges faced by the department.

“The role technology plays is very important and in order to advance we have no other choice but to switch to the use of new technology.”

Also present were Customs director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy, deputy directors-general Datuk Zulkifli Yahya (Enforcement and Compliance), Datuk Paddy Abdul Halim (Customs/GST) and Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus (Management), as well as Customs Sarawak director Datin Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/02/06/hastening-project-execution/