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Why No Priority for Sabah Road Slopes Repairs?

Kota Kinabalu: “It is not surprising that there are landslides affecting major roads in Sabah whenever there is heavy rain as the Sabah JKR had been clamouring and literally begging without success for federal funds since 2009 for repairs of 647 road slopes failures” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on roads being cut off in Penampang-Tambunan, Tamparuli-Kiulu and Tuaran-Topokon due to landslides two days ago.

It is sad that Sabahans have to bear the brunt of the landslides and failure of the road slopes due to the failure of the federal government to provide sufficient funding for Sabah JKR. 
Even sadder is the lack of seriousness of the Sabah government and Umno/BN leaders to follow up and seek the funds from the federal government for the repairs so that the landslides could be avoided.

It is as though they could not care less for fear of reprisal from their political masters in Putrajaya and be dismissed from their positions or from being re-nominated to stand in elections.    As a result, the needs of Sabah and Sabahans are quickly forgotten and not to be brought up again.

In 2009, Sabah JKR Deputy Director reported that RM920 million was needed to rectify its 647 road slope failures, of which 517 slope failures were on roads under the state administration while the rest have been identified on roads under federal administration.

In September 2013, the JKR Director reported that RM2.0 billion was needed for the backlog of road repairs and another RM700 million was needed for repairs and upgrading of 62 bridges.

In both cases, there appears to be no news not even promises of funding by the federal government and Sabahans have to put up with the road and road slope failures.   It was reported that until 2007 the Sabah government suffered losses of RM2.55 billion due to the landslides.   The losses by the people and businesses is probably many times over.

Now, due to the non-repairs and by the Acts of Gods, the problem of roads and road slopes in Sabah are in the news again due to the landslides and erosions during the heavy rains. 

It looks like the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister, who also happens to be my elder brother, have no choice this time around but to ask for federal funds to repair Sabah roads and road slopes repairs.

There is no reason or excuse this time around for the federal government to refuse federal funds.   In 2009, Sabah only contributed RM13.661 billion in oil revenue to Petronas and the federal government.  In 2014, this is almost doubled to RM26.6 billion.

“I am quite sure that Sabah motorists will be waiting eagerly for news of federal funds being pumped in and the incidents of road slopes landslides will be reduced” concluded Dr. Jeffrey.

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