KUCHING: The RM3 million street lighting project at Puncak Borneo is one that should not be politicised, said Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin.
He was responding to Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang who said that the fund for the project was insufficient without considering the cost of power supply.
Willie told reporters yesterday that the federal Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) paid for as much as 50 per cent of the power cost incurred by all local councils in Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole.
“The matter should not be politicised as it is a joint responsibility and if I as the representative for Puncak Borneo did not do this (street light project), then we will all be left out,” he said, adding that other villages already have street lights and Puncak Borneo should have the same.
He further stressed that the federal and state governments should work together to implement development projects.
“It is without a doubt that the RM3-million fund was not included in the annual grant for KPKT. This is an additional grant.
“Therefore, I hope that the state government and the local councils can accept what is given by the federal government and together develop Puncak Borneo,” he said.
As to whether the fund would affect the overall cost of the project, Willie said it would not as long as there was commitment from the implementing agency (MPP) on the part of the state.
He also said that he left it to the MPP technical committee on handling how many street lights would be placed in Puncak Borneo as it is at the discretion of the council.
Yesterday, Lo said that there was a need to clarify whether the money obtained by Puncak Borneo MP Willie on Feb 13, 2020 for the street lighting project was merely for building the infrastructure.
According to Lo, the budget for building the infrastructure would not cover the cost of power.
“I would like to highlight that when street lighting is proposed, a whole package needs to be considered, such as the infrastructure itself and cost of electricity,” he said.