Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday
MINISTER of Environment and Public Health Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh yesterday hit out at Wong Ho Leng (DAP-Bukit Assek) for being totally ignorant of Article 109 of the Federal Constitution.
“Does he know that the Malaysian Road Records Information System’s (Marris) road maintenance fund is automatically granted by the federal government?
“He claimed credit on the newly sealed road at Telok Bango in Sibu saying ‘My voice in Parliament has been heard’. What a cheap publicity,” Wong said in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly.
Under Article 109(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution, fund for the maintenance of all state roads, including council and village roads, is provided by the federal government.
Soon Koh pointed out that what the opposition leader should have done as a parliamentarian “is to appeal for a larger allocation for Sibu in addition to the normal grant under the existing formula.”
The minister also quoted what Ho Leng, David Wong (DAP-Pelawan) and Yap Hoi Liong (DAP-Dudong) said about the road conditions in Sibu last week, which invited roars of protests from the opposition bench.
“We must admit that road conditions in Sibu indeed leave much to be desired. Sibu is situated in a delta basin with 73 per cent of its land mass peat soil as deep as 20 metres or more,” said Soon Koh.
He recalled being told: “During the initial stage of construction of certain stretches of New Airport Road, workers left their trucks in the newly sandfilled roads for lunch.
“When they returned from lunch, the trucks simply disappeared – they sank into the deep peat and were completely submerged.”
Despite this, he felt that roads in Sibu “are not that bad or good only for horses.”
“Claims by the three YBs from Sibu that ‘potholes everywhere would rock the car as if it is hit by rockets’ are not even good enough for coffeeshop talks, really not so dignified and demeaning.
“But it is typical of DAP being so ruthless and unscrupulous in their speeches and in their choice of words, hoping to work up the emotions of the people against the BN,” he pointed out.
He also challenged Ho Leng to tender for the dredging project at the bottleneck at Pulau Kerto, for which the federal government had allocated fund.
“This is your golden opportunity, go for it. Do something for the people of Sibu, after all, almost the whole of Sibu is under you, the DAP.”
Throughout the more than an hour winding-up, Soon Koh did not grant the floor to any opposition member, who sought point of order, except Dr Wong Hua Seh (DAP Repok).
Met by reporters later, Ho Leng claimed that people would be disappointed with the minister’s speech for the latter spent quite a substantial time on criticising the opposition members from Sibu.
“I can see his evil grin while indulging in his own speech. He gave way only to Dr Wong Hua Seh as he reasoned that he is a doctor. In this case, (Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Amar) Awang Tengah (Ali Hassan) is a role model as he shared the floor and replied to our points of order.”