KUCHING (Dec 30): The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak has questioned the state government’s capability to build its own digital surveillance infrastructure, after failing to explain why the existing 18 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at the Jalan Arang-Jalan Dogan roundabout have yet to be fully operational.
Michael Kong, aide to Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen, said regardless of whether the project’s status is part of Kuching Smart City projects or vice-versa, the state government should disclose how it was carried out to ensure the implementation of the mega infrastructure project is transparent.
He said while he understood maintenance issues are very common, sharing information on how the system would be incorporated into the Kuching Smart City plan, especially the technical aspects, with the public is vital.
“Whether the existing CCTVs launched by (Batu Kitang assemblyman) Lo Khere Chiang is currently under the Kuching Smart City project or not, it does not detract from the fact that it is still subject to the principles of good governance and accountability.
“RM600,000 of taxpayers’ money was used and therefore it is only proper that public scrutiny be allowed to determine its efficiency and feasibility before the Sarawak state government embarks on another multi-million-ringgit project,” he said in a statement.
He chided Tan Kai – a political secretary to the Premier – for sidestepping the issue and demanded the latter explain the current state and condition of the infrastructure.
“If the state government cannot even manage 18 CCTVs, which were installed on a trial basis, how are they expected to manage and maintain 800 CCTVs throughout Greater Kuching?” he questioned.
Tan had said yesterday that the CCTVs were not part of the Kuching Smart City Initiative.
Under the Kuching Smart City Initiative, the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government will collaborate with the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to install 800 CCTVs in 200 strategic locations in four local council areas.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian revealed on Christmas Eve that the installation of CCTV cameras at 18 strategic locations in Batu Kawah constituency, which is under MPP area of jurisdiction, will ensure the area is under surveillance around the clock to improve security and safety.
He added the project would also cover Kuching South City Council (MBKS) with 317 CCTVs in 80 locations; Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) with 310 CCTVs in 80 locations; and Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) with 79 CCTVs in 20 locations.