Malaysia – Instead of implementing superficial projects for image-building and propaganda purposes, Batu Kawah incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian should have addressed the source of the difficulties encountered by residents in his constituency, said Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
“For example, Dr Sim is the state Minister of Local Government and Housing, yet throughout his five-year tenure, not a single government flat or low- or medium-cost housing development was created in the Batu Kawah region,” Chong stated during a news conference held at the DAP Sarawak headquarters yesterday.
He was reacting to Dr Sim’s assertion that he had spent over RM330 million in Batu Kawah on different initiatives since his election as assemblyman.
Dr Sim allegedly spent RM3 million on substandard residences and RM562,000 on RPR Tondong apartments in the Batu Kawah constituency during the last five years, according to Chong.
As a consequence, he claims, individuals have been compelled to buy homes constructed by private developers, which are now beyond the reach of middle and low-wage workers.
Despite Dr Sim’s commitment in his 2016 election platform to remedy the problem once elected, Chong identified the five key issues that residents in Batu Kawah continue to face, namely the traffic congestion along Jalan Batu Kawa.
Chong said that instead of fixing the issue, the traffic congestion has worsened, despite Dr Sim spending RM34 million on road maintenance and development over the previous five years.
According to him, it is the council’s role, not a minister’s, to upgrade and maintain roads. Town planning is the role of the Minister for Local Government. Despite this, he was unable to begin any initiative to alleviate the traffic congestion on Jalan Batu Kawah for the whole five-year mandate.
In comparison to Kota Sentosa, Chong said one flyover had already been built and two more were nearing construction along Jalan Penrissen.
He claimed that the state government spent RM47.679 billion between 2016 and 2021, and that each of the 82 seats should get RM523 million if the sum was split evenly.
Dr Sim’s RM330 million claim for Batu Kawah, according to Chong, comes up short of the average RM523 million allocated to every constituency.
Despite Dr Sim claiming to have committed RM223 million for the drainage system renovation, he noted that the recurrent floods that plague Batu Kawah residents remain unaddressed.
Chong also mentioned Batu Kawah’s poor internet connection, as well as the fact that many parts of the constituency lack internet access.