Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing slammed Public Works Department for giving so many excuses for delayed rural road projects in Sarawak.

He said whenever the questions were raised in parliament concerning rural road projects in Sarawak, the department would give wonderful stories about how they would benefit the people.

When it comes to implementation, the rural people had to wait and wait for the roads lamented the Bintulu Parliamentarian reported Borneo Post on Tuesday.

“I hope the officers up there understand the hardship of the people; how the road-less people in remote areas take six to 10 hours boat ride to reach a hospital.

“How sick people died on the way just because their journeys were too long and was tough,” Tiong added.

He said when the late Prime Minsiter Tun Abdul Razak went to Kapit in the early 1970s he had to use a helicopter.

“When the next prime minister takes office, will he have to use helicopter too,” asked Tiong.

Thus he asked Public Works Department to treat the lives of the rural people seriously.

Tiong said the rural peoples have the same right to better living conditions as urban people and that the department should not giving priorities to consitituencies of ministers only.

Tiong cited the Tatau – Serupai road in his constituency as example. According to Tiong the project was mooted in 2002 and supposed to have been implemented in 2005 under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“I was told it was a 10-km stretch costing RM30 million but today all is silent about the project.

“God knows what has happened,” Tiong said.

“I only know in parliament that the project is still waiting for the nod from the Public Works Department,” Tiong added.

In raising the question in parliament on Monday questioned if the department are serious about helping the people.

Tiong said the matter had been raised in parliament so many times and hope that all the talks will not lead back to square one again.

*Reporting by Raymond (BP) and edited by Bintulu.Org