25/06/2024 04:41 PM

NIBONG TEBAL, June 25 (Bernama) -- The construction of the Jawi Immigration Detention Depot and Quarters, which was delayed for five years, has now reached 98 per cent progress and is expected to be fully completed by the end of July.

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the construction of the RM77.5 million project on a six-hectare plot began on May 27, 2019 and was supposed to be completed on May 8, 2022, but was given three delays following the Movement Control Order when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“This was an open tender project under the Public Works Department (JKR) as the implementing agency. It is expected to be completed on July 28,” he said after reviewing the project’s progress today, with Penang Immigration director Nur Zulfa Ibrahim also present.

The project also includes the construction of a pump house and a suction tank as well as a two-kilometre-long water reticulation line to the depot to overcome the issue of low water pressure in the Jawi area, which has been affecting the water supply to the prison area and Taman Widuri.

“This project costs RM5.78 million, also through an open tender, with the total amount for both projects being RM83.28 million,” he said.

Ahmad said the construction of the depot is a project under the First Rolling Plan of the 11th Malaysia Plan, under the Home Ministry and belongs to the Penang Immigration Department, which aims to provide a conducive detention centre for illegal immigrants with enhanced security features.

Additionally, the project includes housing quarters for immigration officers, which will improve the readiness of officers to respond quickly to any disturbances in the detention blocks.

“This project will replace the existing Juru Immigration Detention Depot, built in 1976, which is now dilapidated and unsuitable for occupancy.

“On average, the Juru depot has a capacity for 500 detainees (350 men and 150 women). However, that capacity can be augmented with the completion of this new depot, which can accommodate some 1,200 detainees (834 men and 324 women),” he said.

Ahmad said JKR remains committed to ensuring that projects given by the ministry are completed on schedule or earlier.


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