Such a disgrace in Penampang
Published on: Sunday, January 13, 2019
By: Oswald Supi

PENAMPANG: Penampang, the constituency in Malaysia with the most Yang Berhormats (YBs), has been struggling to solve a simple problem the past few months – whose job it is to cut the grass that had grown chest-high in some places.

Fed up with public complaints being referred to him and no action forthcoming, Member of Parliament Datuk Darrel Leiking instructed his Special Officer Albert Chin to round up a few  workers and together with some staff from his service centre to do the job themselves.

Staff at the MP service centre raised the money among themselves with some anonymous citizens chipping in and started cutting the grass at 7.30am, Saturday. Albert managed to get hold of nine grass cutters staying in the area and began by clearing the grass along the main highways at Donggongon.

Albert said the Rakyat in Penampang were fed up with the Council, District Office and Public Works Department who, despite meetings after meetings, were unable to decide who should be responsible to carry out the task.

Earlier, Darrel sent a message to a group comprising representatives of the relevant authorities in the district that was leaked and became viral. 

Expressing disappointment that small matters were not being attended to until people queue to complain at his service office, one paragraph summed it all: 

“If MDPG/District Office cannot do it, then I would have no choice but to do the next right thing to ensure that these are done”.

He said there is a possibility of mischievous intent to make Penampang look dirty and unkept and gave a deadline till the end of January to clean up the district.

Albert said the Rakyat voted for a new government with high expectations but that bureaucracy was preventing the results being achieved. 

He questioned that if funding was the problem, how was the Council, PWD and District Office able to privatise these projects where in the past it was done by their own workers. 

Legal adviser for the Team, Jane Manjaji, said she wished to have a copy of the Contract Agreement concerning all these privatised services to see if they were being carried out accordingly.

For the areas under the Council as well as the villages around Hungab, the team continued the work. 

This raised another question whether the companies originally awarded the contracts are going to claim payment for work carried by MP Service Team. 

The situation was reminiscent of that in Sandakan a week ago where a Sandakan Municipal Councillor decided to cut the grass along the roadside himself because the district PWD failed to do the job.

The eight YBs in Penampang that made it the constituency with the most holding top positions are:

Datuk Darrel Leiking (Penampang MP), Jenifer Lasimbang (Moyog Assemblywoman), Jannie Lasimbang (Kepayan Assemblywoman), Adrian Lasimbang (Senator), Datuk John Ambrose (Senator), Datuk Donald Mojuntin (Senator), Datuk George Ginibun (Deputy Assembly Speaker) and Terrence Siambun (Nominated Assemblyman).

Pic shows Albert cutting tall grass along the main highway near the Siga roundabout while his team looks on. - Oswald Supi


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