KUCHING, June 30 — Sarawak’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) will review the work process of the state Public Works Department (JKR) to minimise the occurrence of “sick” projects, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

He said the review is necessary as there are 84 state government projects that have failed to meet the completion dates.

“The department has sophisticated standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the contractors to follow, and yet the problems of sick projects still exist,” Uggah, who is also the minister of infrastructure and port development, said after witnessing the handover of duties of the ministry’s permanent secretary from the retiring Datuk Safri Zainudin to his successor, Chiew Chee Yau here.

He said it is critical that the sick projects be completed as expected.

“So our priority is to come with action plans to ensure that these projects will be successfully implemented,” he said, reminding all the agencies and departments under the ministry to cooperate and ensure state government projects are completed on schedule.

He said there are about 9,000 projects worth more than RM48 billion and five ports under the ministry.

Uggah said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has asked his ministry to review the overall policies, development and strategies of the five ports.

“These ports are very crucial as they are arteries of the state’s economic growth,” he said.

He added the projected economic growth of 6-8 per cent envisaged under the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) will largely depend on the ports’ efficiency, development and the ability to offer world class service to the clients, most of whom are foreign investors.

Uggah said the port administrators must be prepared to seek out and adopt the latest technologies to enhance their services and performances.

Safri, clocked out for the last time today, has been MIPD’s permanent secretary for 13 years.

He has served in the state civil service for 40 years, beginning as an engineer at the JKR headquarters in Kuching and had served in Sibu and Kapit Divisions.

Chiew joined the state civil service in 1999 after a spell in a private engineering firm.

He has served in various capacities in Simanggang and at the department headquarters including a stint as a project manager for the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak.

In March 2020 he was appointed as an acting deputy director of the department.