KOTA KINABALU 20/12/2012: The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has come under fire from Sabah leaders over the shutdown of work by Global Upline Sdn Bhd (GUSB), the contractor of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) development.
Barisan Nasional (BN) Putatan member of parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh was of the opinion that GUSB’s statement about the reason why it had stopped work on the airport expansion project proved that the Transport Ministry is irresponsible.
He was also worried about the safety aspects of the airport based on GUSB’s statement which read, ‘in the interest of safety to aircraft operation and passengers alike, we would like to inform the public that the runway is not safe for landing, take-off and other operation since it has been certified non-complete by MOT. The runway shall be forthwith closed for operation’.
Marcus, who is United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) treasurer general, pointed out that GUSB’s statement has proven that the Transport Ministry is irresponsible and its minister should resign.
“If the ministry thinks that the airport is not complete, then why allow it to be opened? My question to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha is, is the airport safe to be used?”
According to Marcus, “during the parliamentary debate last month I brought this airport issue to the attention of the minister and he apologised for the blackouts that had occurred this year. He also promised to ensure it would not happen again and I insisted that he personally visit the site to which he agreed.
Marcus said he had also contacted the contractor to seek for cooperation into the matter and was told that the Transport Ministry refused to entertain the contractor and was not responding to letters sent to the ministry.
“Instead of solving the problem, the officer in this ministry is creating problem … what do they want? For the public to start asking?” Marcus pointed out.
“If the work is not complete then ask the contractor to finish it. If claim is due, pay the contractor … go down to the site and see for yourself. Don’t be lazy. If you think you are an important person who cannot go under the sun, then as I said before you should be a gentleman and resign.
“This is what is practised in other countries where a minister who thinks he is not fit for the job will know what to do,” Marcus said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is of the opinion that the government is putting the people’s lives under threat from its mismanagement of the KKIA runway expansion project.
“The revelation of the main contractor to develop Kota Kinabalu International Airport that the runway was not safe and would be closed clearly signaled doomsday to the tourism industry, our biggest revenue earner.
He said KKIA, the second biggest international airport in Malaysia, was shut down twice this year and the Federal BN government does nothing but pointing fingers to others.
And a few days ago, Chong said Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun had said that Sabah was expecting more tourist arrivals from China, however, but it seems that it is not going to happen.
Global Upline had on Wednesday announced that it had stopped all works to develop the KKIA with effect from Monday.
Its chief advisor, Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing, said the Ministry of Transport failed to fulfill its promise to issue a Certificate of Practical Completion (CPC) to the company upon completion of section one of the works in Package 2 of the project by April 30 this year.
This, he said, meant the runway was not safe for landing and take-off of aircraft as well as other operations on the runway since it had been certified non-complete by the ministry and would be closed.