Tell me bad news even if it hurts, says Sarawak deputy premier to state ministry personnel

KUCHING, March 26 — Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah has told officers from various departments and agencies under the state Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) to be frank in telling him about problems encountered when implementing projects on the ground, even if it hurts.

He said he does not want to hear only good news at the expense of bad news.

“Please tell me and the top management of the ministry of problems encountered during project implementation. Just tell us so that we can deliberate and find solutions,” Uggah, who is also the state minister of infrastructure and port development, said after breaking fast with staff and officers of agencies under the ministry last night.

He expressed his regret that some officers did not share problems such as those related to the compensation demanded by landowners whose property was affected by infrastructure projects, citing a road project in the Samarahan Division as an example.

He said when he arrived near the site, he was met by a group of local headmen and landowners who were very anxious over the matter of compensation for their affected land.

“Of course, some were angry, but in an earlier briefing, I was not told this issue whether intentionally or a genuine mistake.

“But I hope it was a genuine mistake,” he said, adding that he and his two deputy ministers and permanent secretary are all open to feedback.

“Whatever it is, whether it is bad or good news, you have to tell us,” he told the officers of agencies under his ministry.

Uggah said it was of utmost importance that all must continue to serve with integrity.

“In the industries of port and public works developments, integrity is more than just honesty.

“Integrity is a commitment to deliver with excellence, safety and reliability.

“When it is compromised, the consequences can be dire such as structural failures, legal repercussions and a tarnished reputation,” he said.

Uggah also reminded that the ministry has set a number of targets to achieve this year.

He said one was to achieve a 100 per cent or at least 95 per cent development expenditure.

“We have been allocated a RM799.5 million budget this year.

“In 2021, our development expenditure performance was at 67.46 per cent and in 2022, slightly higher at 68.16 per cent.

“I am proud to mention that in 2023, our performance was at 85.69 per cent, among the highest compared to other ministries and departments,” he said.

He said he is confident the ministry can do better, adding that another top priority was to achieve a zero sick project performance.




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