The MCA President, who was just in northern Sarawak for a two-day official visit, has given the reason that the Miri port was “under the purview of the state government” to explain why he dare not go to have a look at the biggest “white elephant” in the country - a port which was immediately abandoned when completed in July 1998 because it was too shallow to allow vessels to use it.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. George Chan, rebutted the claim that the Miri port cost RM350 million, saying that I must get the facts right. The problem is Chan and the Sarawak state government have been hiding the facts and nobody could get them right!
Chan said the construction of the port itself stood at about RM149 million and the additional cost was incurred due to the excessive soil treatment exercise at the site, given the nature of the ground.
He told Bernama: “This brought the total cost to about RM240 million and not RM350 million as claimed by the Opposition.”
In this case, can Chan explain why the official Port Miri Authority website which was posted before November 1987 quoted the cost of RM287 million for the new Miri port?
Can Chan tell Sarawakians and Malaysians where to find the facts about the Miri port of Kuala Baram?
From what Chan told Bernama, the Miri port is even shallower than I had expected, as he now says that the port usage is limited to vessels of not more than 1,000 gross tonnage.
Although the Miri port of Kuala Baram is a state port, Liong Sik cannot close his eyes to its existence, as it has become the laughing stock of the international ports as one which had been built to be abandoned!
The DAP MP for Siputeh, Teresa Kok had spoken about the Miri port in the debate on the Third Outline Perspective Plan and I hope Liong Sik could explain how his Ministry is going to salvage Malaysia’s international reputation as a serious transport destination when there could be such a scandalous Miri port, while the Auditor-General should explain to Parliament why in the past seven years the Auditor-General’s Office had failed to caution the Sarawak state government against such wanton misuse and wastage of public funds.