JKR Justifies RM50,000 Wooden Jetty In Sarawak, Netizens Not Satisfied

After a series of viral messages about a ‘bridge’ in Sarawak that had gotten netizens up in arms, the state works department JKR Sarawak issued an official statement (ladened with grammatical mistakes) on Facebook justifying the RM50,000 invoice over what seemed to be a simple wooden jetty.

The issue cropped up when an image of the bridge was posted on social media and people started questioning the price tag of RM50,000 for the rather plain wooden bridge without railings. JKR claimed the estimated cost is based on its Sarawak Schedule of Rates for the year 2020 with RM9000 per cubic meter for timber in structural buildings. In establishing the price tag of RM50, 000 it said various factors were taken into consideration including, road access, logistics, and safety as the river is purported to be filled with crocodiles. It added that it managed to design and build the jetty up to 15 meter in length with 2 flights of stairs.

The works department also outlined the chronology of events that took place prior to building the bridge. Initially, the plan was for a steel bridge but was rejected by the village head due to the high cost and opted for the ‘belian jetty’ instead. Adding that if a 30m bridge with a wooden shelter could be built in its place, however, JKR representatives claimed this will be above the RM50,000 budget allocated, and finally, all parties agreed on the 15m jetty.

Once agreed all suitable contractors were invited with the conditions laid out including the dangers of crocodiles and remote access.

However, netizens continue to question JKR and asked for a detailed breakdown of the cost to build the jetty, while another added RM50,000 could be used to build a concrete bridge that can last much longer.

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