KOTA KINABALU 21/12/2012: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha must come to Sabah and personally check the condition of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) runway, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
The Infrastructure Development Minister said that he concurred with Putatan member of parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh on the need for the Transport Minister to check on the matter as it is an issue of public safety.
“I agree with the statement that the particular minister should come down here and inspect the KKIA runaway. In fact, (he should) have a discussion between the contractor (Global Upline Sdn Bhd) and the Transport Ministry because this matter needs to be clarified between these two parties.
“Whether or not the ministry has done its part, it is up to the minister to really clarify … there is a perception here right now the minister has not come down here so I would also like to express my opinion that he should come down here and resolve the matter as soon as possible,” Pairin said when met after officiating at the District Officers’ Conference on behalf of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday.
Asked to comment on GUSB’s claim that the runway was not safe to be used, Pairin pointed out that the Transport Ministry has issued a statement refuting the contractor’s allegation and cleared the air by saying that the runway is safe for landing and take-off.
“However, this is a serious matter and when we focus on air travel service, it requires an approach and solution that is based on safety,” he stressed.
Pairin added that he believed the statement was issued as a result of GUSB’s dissatisfaction as it mentioned the issue of non-payment.
According to Pairin, he was made to understand that the payments were made on schedule and the problem was with the contractor itself.
“So if the contractor did not carry out its responsibility accordingly, we abide by the Terms of Reference in the contract … if the project is delayed, the contractor is at fault and will be at fault if it is still delayed despite being given an extension.
“If the project is not completed according to schedule, it is also non-compliance with the contractor’s side, so all this must be looked into and I think both the state and federal governments take what the contractor said seriously,” he said, adding that the Transport Ministry would take the necessary steps to resolve the matter.
by Nancy Lai