(From left) Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman says the materials used are sub-standard; and Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh says there is no proper monitoring of projects
ROADS in rural areas are substandard because the contractors had sub-contracted the work, a backbencher said yesterday.
"For example, for a road project worth RM500,000, half goes into the pockets of those who got the job. The eventual sub-contractor will be left with RM250,000 to build the road. What materials can you get other than lower quality stuff?" he asked during the debate on the Work Ministry's allocations at the committee stage.
He said he was not against contractors making a profit.
"But if the margin goes up to 60 per cent of the value of the project, then something must be wrong."
"They farm out the work to others. So, in the end, the road is built with sub-standard materials."
Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) said the Public Works Department should also look at the way the projects were being monitored.
"Surely this could not have happened if there was proper monitoring."
Tajuddin agreed, saying that monitoring of projects must have been compromised by those on the ground.
There were more complaints about roads from Alexander Nanta Linggi (BN-Kapit), who regretted the delay in the construction of the Kapit-Sibu link.
"It was to have been built under the Seventh Malaysia Plan but was pushed to the Eighth Malaysia Plan. Now, I am told it will be built under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
"What am I going to tell my constituents?"
Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) quipped that only God knew the day when some of the road projects in Sarawak would be completed, as promises had been made for so long that the public had grown weary of them.
He said many roads were to have been built but the PWD had either postponed or delayed the work.
"I hope the ministry will be able to give a comprehensive answer to the status of various road projects in the state."
Dr Che Rosli Che Mat (Pas-Hulu Langat) called on the government to widen the Batu 9-Dusun Tua trunk road in his constituency.
"The road is in a bad shape. I hope the government will repair and widen it."