[PHOTOS] M'sians Are Dumbfounded That A Wooden Jetty In Sarawak Cost RM50,000 To Build

The village head initially also asked for a timber shed, but she was told that it was not possible due to the "limited" budget.

Cover image via Corporate Communication JKR Sarawak (Facebook)

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Malaysians are demanding answers from the Sarawak Works Department (JKR Sarawak) after it handed over a RM50,000 wooden jetty to the local village chief in Miri, Sarawak

In a Facebook post last Friday, 8 April, the department uploaded a photo of the jetty's handing over ceremony.

A representative from the engineering division, Fatin Fahsha Binti Adenan, is seen unveiling the whopping RM50,000 jetty to Sediah Abdullah, the village head of Kampung Mutap, Bekenu.

"The project started on 7 March 2022 and was completed earlier than the schedule on 1 April 2022. This jetty was built to replace the old jetty that was damaged and could no longer be used," it said.

"The RTP DUN N71 Bekenu project (to) build a new jetty (in) Kampung Mutap is one of the projects under the supervision of JKR Miri with a project cost of RM50,000. The scope of work for the project involved the construction of a 1m wide x 15m long jetty."

With the completion of the jetty, JKR Sarawak continued that residents in the area can carry out their daily activities easily, especially during floods, as it can be used as an alternative route to the Bekenu Market.

The post with multiple photos have since gone viral with over 8,100 likes and 5,700 shares

It also attracted over 10,000 comments, with many of them questioning the high cost of the simple structure by the river.

"The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), please investigate. Is it true that the price of the (jetty) is RM50,000?" a netizen commented.

"May the people in the government body who are not trustworthy be replaced with people who are more intelligent and have noble morals, Amin," added another Facebook user.

"Congratulations, it's not easy to complete a project like this. It should cost RM500,000. Thankfully, (we) got a responsible, trustworthy, and honest contractor who managed to complete this project with only RM50,000. Respect," a person said sarcastically.

Image via Facebook

After the issue blew up, the Sarawak Works Department issued a statement to defend the high cost of the jetty

It cited the high material cost of belian timber as the reason behind the RM50,000 project.

"JKR Sarawak's estimated cost is based on the JKR Sarawak Schedule of Rates for the Year 2020 with a rate of RM9,000 per meter cube for belian timber, [which] is apparently lower than the current market rate," it said in a statement dated yesterday, 10 April.

"In establishing the cost of RM50,000, various factors had been carefully taken into account, inter alia, the condition of road access (Jalan Ladang) to Kampung Mutap, logistics, as well as safety measures, considering that the area is infested with crocodiles. With [a] budget of RM50,000, JKR Sarawak managed to design the jetty up to 15m in length with two staircases."

It added that the village head initially asked for a 30m long jetty that comes completed with a timber shed, but she was told that it was not possible due to the "limited" budget.

"As a consequence, the village head agreed to a design that is within the allocated budget. In view of the budget constraint, the village head shall request additional funding from the local [member of parliament] to carry out Phase 2 of the jetty," it stated.

Bukit Balat Company is the contractor of the project, which was chosen via balloting during a tender meeting.

The full statement can be found below:

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