Lo Khere Chiang: Gaining back the rights of Sarawak not an easy task

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker

Thank you for the honour and the opportunity to   debate Yang Amat Berhormat, the Chief Minister’s address at this second meeting of the second session of the 18th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly. I support and congratulate Yang Amat Berhormat, the Chief Minister’s articulate speech, his presentation of a people centric budget covering all aspects of the state’s welfare, social and economic development, from education to tourism, waste management and flooding.

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker

First of all, I would like to congratulate our YAB Chief Minister for his brainchild ideas, light rail transit, Sarawak’s very own Development Bank, (DBOS), our own petroleum entity, (Petros) and a boost to our digital economy mooting speed and connectivity on our internet highway, much to the delight of our people, be it young and old,  in the town as well as in the rural areas.

Compared to Penang and Selangor who are running on a deficit budget with only RM800 million and RM 2 billion reserve respectively and still giving away three months’ bonus to their civil servants, our Chief Minister has shown much wisdom and maturity by being prudent in our spending, creating jobs and educating our youths to earn their keeps rather than giving them free bonuses.

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Sarawak has RM30 billion reserves and our Chief Minister is attracting technology savvy investments and heavy industries into the State which will provide high paying jobs that can tap into the resources of our educated and qualified youths.

I appeal to all Sarawakians to be mindful always. The journey to gaining back the rights of Sarawak is not an easy task. It requires a lot of tact from our leaders who are credible as well as the unanimous support from the people of Sarawak. Let us all be mindful always, to throw our full support behind our Chief Minister and his cabinet.

SPORTS/SCHOOL FACILITIES

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker

I wish to request for a sport centre to be located in my Batu Kitang constituency to cater to the needs of our youngsters there. Batu Kitang constituency has a population of about 40,000 and there is a lack of good sport facility in our area.

Children are our future and we should nurture them and not lose them to drug abuse or other crimes. The younger generation needs good sport facilities to release their stress in this competitive world today.

With escalating drug problems in our society, we must look for ways to ensure that these youngsters spend their free time in healthy activities instead of spending time wandering around shopping complexes or dabbling in crimes.

I have identified a piece of land behind Kampung Paya Mebi which is suitable for the purpose. 20 acres would be more than enough to build a sport centre where they can pick any type of sports event that they want to go into, be it basketball, football, tennis, futsal or others.

It would be good to build a proper sport centre with lodging facilities. I proposed that Padawan Municipal council be entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the operation of these facilities upon completion.

Still on facilities, Datuk Amar Speaker, there is only one SMK Arang but eight SK and three SJK in my Batu Kitang constituency. After completing their primary school studies, these pupils have a limited choice of secondary tier education to go to unless it is outside Batu Kitang. This is inconvenient for many, especially kampung folks whose children have to walk to school or depend on their family members to send them by motorcycles.

Thus, I hoped that another SMK will be constructed to cater to the needs of the growing population in Batu Kitang. I hoped that a piece of land can be identified and a second SMK be constructed to cater to the growing needs and expectation of this growing population.

On another note, I wish to thank the State Government for granting an allocation to carry out projects in Padawan Municipal council. MPP has in 2017 carried out 225 projects worth more than RM 30 million. This shows that the State government is sincere in carrying out projects that are beneficial to the community as most of these projects are requested by the community themselves. I am glad that through such projects, my people have expressed their gratitude to the government’s sincerity in helping them especially in the improvement of infrastructure facilities.

It is tremendous hard work to complete so many projects with limited workforce. Flood mitigation project alone, 2017 the state government allocate 5.43 Million for Padawan Municipal Council and the majority of this money has been spent in Batu Kawah and Batu Kitang.

MARRIS fund alone the state government has allocated 30 Million, I want to thanks the state secretary for the trust he have in us. And on top of all this, we have Rural Transformation Projects, Padawan Municipal Council look after 6 YBs, we have more than 20 Million projects to implement under RTP alone   and we have NBOS, BP1 BP2 from the federal government.

Apart from the Capital Grant projects that my honourable YB for Sentosa mention this morning, i am disappointed and i find no words to describe a 3 term MP and a 3 term YB, Kota Sentosa, he is so ignorant or is he pretending to be ignorant, is this the kind of politics of our people want, misleading the public all the time, RM300,000 worth of projects for MPP to implement. Our 400 workforces, their salary itself is more than 1.5 Million a month. I hope our people sees what kind of politics DAP is playing, and i hope our people will reject this kind of politics.

I hope our state government will continue to provide Padawan Municipal council with more funds to carry out further flood mitigation projects because what we have done so far 5.43 Million is the beginning, we have started the projects rolling, there still a lot of work to be done ahead, i appeal to the state government to continue to give us more funds under flood mitigation so that we can solve all flooding problems in Batu Kitang, in Batu Kawah and eventually in the whole of Padawan Municipal Council.

LEDS

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker

LED is a highly efficient lighting technology and use 75 percent less energy but can last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. This is saving energy which is also green and clean for our environment.

The high efficiency of LEDS makes them ideal for industrial uses as they are now commonly used for street lights, parking garage lighting, walkways and other outdoor area lightings.

Many developed countries including China have switched to use LEDS extensively. I hope that Sarawak Energy would also consider using LEDS for street lightings including Federal roads and other outdoor areas.

As this is an energy saving light, we can save much money apart from the fact that it is green and environmentally friendly. Each year, Padawan Municipal Council spend RM3 million in electricity bills. By replacing with LEDS, MPP can save RM2.1 million per year. Capital cost to replace all lights to LEDs may be expensive but if it is beneficial to Sarawak in the long run, we should go for it.

STRATA TITLES

Honorable Datuk Amar Speaker,

Kuching is now experiencing condominium or apartment style of housing to suit the growing needs of the younger generation and professionals. I have urged housing developers to pursue the issuance of strata titles for projects constructed by them years back and this is one of the teething problems facing us today.

Unfortunately, some developers took their time with strata title application after receiving payment from buyers. The local councils will inspect for Occupation permit but the processing of Strata titles is between the developer and the Lands and Survey department. It is slow, I must say.

Many house buyers for low cost housing have approached me to solve the delay in the issuance of strata titles. I can cite an example of Taman Flora Indah where I have been asked to assist by ourhouse buyers. 17 years have passed but the house buyers have yet to receive their strata titles. I hope that the Lands and Survey department will expedite the issuance of these titles to give the house buyers a sense of ownership and security. Of course, developers should also play their role to be more responsible in complying with all the requirements needed for strata titles to be issued.

Datuk Amar Speaker, still on the issue of housing, I hope the government will look into amendment of laws to accommodate Gated and Guarded community. At the moment, our laws do not allow such a facility. I hope there is an amendment to address this problem as we must applaud the community and developer who want to live safely due to escalating crimes.

Lodging police report

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker,

I must thank the Police Commissioner and the KPD Padawan for a job well done. They deserve a pat on their back for eradicating fish machines and many gambling outlets in Padawan. It is good to know that raids are still being carried out where illegal gambling exists. I must thank the people in my area for being proactive in informing the police.

Having said that, I must bring up this Police reporting system which is not conducive for our people. I have brought up this issue before but unfortunately, the system of reporting have not improved to give convenience to the public.

It had been reported many times in the media that top police officers have assured the people that police reports can be made in any police station but in reality, this is not happening. There are still many instances where victims of accidents occurring in Telaga Air have to travel all the way to Padawan to make a simple police report.

Turning away a victim at such a time will only bring anger to these people against the police. With the technology we have today, it is strange that the police department are not moving with time. This issue must be look into immediately.

It has also come to my attention that Computerized Accident Recording System (CARS) has been installed throughout Semunjung Malaysia to manage road accidents, safety and traffic control but not in Sarawak.

Why are we not linked so that there is a more efficient management of accidents and saving lives in the fastest possible way? We have been conveniently left behind by the Federal Government. Even Police Mobile Vehicle (MPV) in Sarawak are still patrolling and chasing criminals in their Kancil.We are a joke to the other parts of Malaysia. I was told that there are no more Kancil being used in Semunjung for patrolling purposes as all these used vehicles are sent to either Sarawak or Sabah. I find this information very disturbing. Even police, a federal department in Sarawak is being treated like a ‘step-brother’ using more inferior facilities. This sort of attitude from the Federal   government   must   stop immediately.

Sexual abuse

Honorable Datuk Amar Speaker, of late, there are too many sex-related crimes in Sarawak involving young children with some suspects being their own family members! We viewed all these with deep concern. It pains me to read of young children who were abused by their own families who are supposed to look after them. There were also incidents in schools where teachers also betrayed the trust of their pupils.

These children are young and need our protection. It is disheartening to note that there were several victims who were raped continuously for years before it was discovered. School is considered a place where our children are educated to be useful citizen and future leaders, not a place where their innocence and lives are robbed of them. School children must be taught to tell   if someone abused them sexually.

It is the duty of Parents, politicians, teachers and the public at large, to play an important role in eradicating this form of abuse. Parents should ensure that they know their children’s teachers.

Education department should not sweep the problem under the carpet by transferring problematic teachers as it is just transferring the problem to another school and continuing to cause harm there.

We can also learn from other countries on how to protect our children from sexual abuse. Sex education should be taught in schools to let the children identify what abuse is all about. It is also important for members of the public who know of such abuses to report to the relevant authority, thereby, preventing deeper physiological harm to these victims. As politicians, I think it is time we go for harsher laws to combat sex abuse cases especially to our children.

We need to be diligent in order to protect our children and their future. We need to work hard to get rid of such useless people in our society.

Thank you,  Honourable Datuk Amar  speaker

State Assembly DUN Speech delivered by Lo Khere Chiang, the State Assemblyman for Batu Kitang