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Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has strongly criticized the Sibu Water Board (SWB) for its inadequate long-term planning, which has led to frequent water supply disruptions affecting the livelihoods of Sibu residents.

Impact on Livelihoods

Tiong pointed out that the substandard water supply measures in Salim and Bukit Lima have severely impacted people's daily lives and businesses. He called on the SWB to provide a reasonable explanation and apologize for their negligence, which he claims undermines Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg's goals of good governance and infrastructure improvement in Sarawak.

Lack of Planning and Crisis Management

Tiong expressed his regret over SWB's lack of long, medium, and short-term planning in handling water interruptions, stating that there are no crisis management measures in place. He mentioned that since the state elections of 2021 and 2020, he has repeatedly raised concerns with SWB about the frequent and sudden water interruptions and urged the agency to address the root causes.

Recent Disruption and SWB's Clarification

Yesterday, many parts of Sibu experienced a water supply disruption, affecting numerous businesses and daily activities. SWB later clarified that the disruption was due to low water pressure caused by low tide, affecting the pumping of raw water from the river at the Salim and Bukit Lima treatment plants.

Unacceptable Excuses

Tiong criticized the recurring explanations from the authorities and highlighted that as 2024 approaches, the same excuses are still being used while people continue to face challenges in meeting their basic needs. He suggested deepening the Rajang River or finding a suitable location for the water pumping facilities, questioning the inflexibility of current engineering solutions.

Call for Accountability and Better Solutions

Tiong reminded SWB that residents pay their water bills monthly and deserve better service. He questioned the leadership of SWB for their perceived incompetence and lack of action in resolving the water supply issues. He emphasized that access to clean water is a basic human right and urged SWB to present relief plans and inform the public about the duration of these water supply measures.

Need for Practical Solutions

Tiong advised SWB to be vigilant in addressing water supply issues and suggested appointing a capable consultant or contractor to conduct on-site inspections and propose effective solutions. He stressed the importance of SWB going to the ground, meeting with the grassroots, and understanding the problems faced by the people instead of just making excuses from the office.

Warning and Conclusion

Tiong warned SWB to provide immediate solutions and address public resentment with practical actions to prevent future flood problems. He cautioned that continued inaction could lead to a loss of public trust in the government, undermining the Premier's efforts to care for the people of Sarawak.

Source: The Borneo Post
Tiong slams Sibu Water Board over lack of long-term planning in dealing with water supply disruptions