SIBU: The Covid-19 pandemic which began in March 2020 had largely contributed to 340 projects being categorised as sick projects and 36 critically delayed projects in Sarawak.

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (pix) said other factors included manpower shortage and financial or building material problems faced by contractors apart from their sub-contractors failing to perform.

“Now, almost four years down the road, the pandemic situation has improved. We want all contractors awarded projects to deliver as scheduled and in the required quality,” he said after visiting the Sibu Division Public Works Department (JKR) office here today.

All JKR offices in the state must act firmly against those not performing to expectations, he added.

The department should raise the red flag when construction work had been delayed by 60 days, Uggah said.

“No more treating them with kid gloves. We fear that if no action is taken, the situation can further deteriorate to end up as a sick project,” he said.

Uggah said he had mentioned in the past that if a contractor failed to start work within one month after the site handing over, JKR could proceed with the contract termination.

He said the department was expected to handle more projects soon now that the state had been allowed autonomy to implement federal projects worth RM50 million and below without referring to Putrajaya. - Bernama