RM100mil meant for Miri port repairs missing

Barisan Nasional’s ‘crony-orientated policies’ has also been blamed for the 30-year-old squatter problem in Miri.

(Free Malaysia Today) – KUCHING: Where has the RM100 million federal allocation to resolve the silting problem in Miri port gone?

This question was posed by Piasau assemblyman Ling Sie Kiong during the debate on the state’s 2012 budget.

“And what had happened to the RM5 million fund allocated for study and RM100 million allocated by the federal government to solve the Miri port problem?” he asked.

Ling said Miri port is facing problems of shallow waters due to silting and big ships can no longer dock there.

Hence many ships now bypass Miri for Bintulu port instead.

“The Miri port is the notorious ‘white elephant’ that is grossly under-utilized after its costly construction and expensive maintenance to keep it running.

“There is still a never-ending debate about whether to dredge the waters regularly at heavy costs or relocate the port further away from the river mouth, ” he said.

He described the Miri port as an epic wastage and a result of bad planning by the BN government.

“The same can happen with dams, and such situation must be avoided for the sake of the people and environment,” he said referring to the Bakun dam and the proposed 12 other dams.

“Hydro-electric power dams are both a boon and a bane for the people around the world, and the larger they are, the larger their effects,” he added.

30-year-old squatter issue

Ling, who slayed his six-term predecessor and former deputy Chief Minister George Chan in the April 16 state election, also highlighted Miri’s perennial squatter issue.

He blamed Miri’s unresolved squatter problems on the government’s crony-orientated politics.

He said there was no reason for sprawling Miri division to experience squatter problems.

“It is ironic that the largest state in the country could not even provide land to house the poor and needy people in the large division of Miri, when so much state land in Miri had been alienated to big companies over the past few years.