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Is Datuk Samy Vellu trying to protect Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) when he directed Putrajaya Public Works Department (PWD) director Abdul Rahim Ahmad to shut up?


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng


(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Who is Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu trying to protect when he directed Putrajaya PWD director Abdul Rahim Ahmad to shut up for revealing on 12.4.2007 that poor design, shoddy workmanship and bad supervision and maintenance as the cause of the burst pipe at the Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya, which saw services to the public disrupted for the day?


The leak on the seventh floor, where the immigration director-general's office was located, last Wednesday caused water to spill down to the lower floors and power supply was cut off to prevent short-circuits. About 2,000 people at the Immigration office were turned away. Samy should realise that the burst pipe at the Immigration headquarters in Putrajaya is shameful and affected Malaysia 's international image.


Abdul Rahim should be commended for practicing transparency and trying to get to the root of the problem when he revealed the cause of the burst pipe that caused not only loss and damage but more importantly tarnished the image of construction standards in Malaysia . The PWD director also claimed to have seen similar shoddy workmanship at several other buildings in the administrative capital. Instead of ensuring that such shameful incidents are not repeated, he appears to be chastised by Samy for telling the truth.


Is Samy trying to protect Syabas when Samy said the PWD had sent the pipes installed in the building to the laboratory for tests and he was informed that the pipes, recommended by Syabas, were made from substances that have never been used in the country? Samy even admitted that the pipes supplied by Syabas are not the usual cast-iron ones.


Severe action should be taken either against Syabas or those responsible as a warning sign to errant contractors carrying out shoddy work that the government will no longer cover up for them. For too long the government has not punished those responsible and even spent extra public funds to salvage problematic public projects.


This gives the impression that the government is more interested in protecting incompetent and shoddy contractors of government project that abandon or delay government projects For instance, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Abdul Rahman Suliman told the Dewan Rakyat   in December last year that the government spent more than RM11.022 billion to rescue seven ailing privatised ventures over the past five years as follows:-

  • the Putra transport system, which cost RM4.486 billion;

  • the STAR-LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion;

  • MAS bailout costing RM2.802 billion respectively;

  • the takeover of the National Sewerage System costing RM192.54 million;

  • the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway costing RM142 million;

  • the Kuching Prison costing RM135 million; and

  • the Unit Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam costing RM8.3 million.

The original cost of these sick 7 privatised projects amounts to RM 15.864 million. In other words spending an extra RM 11,022 million represents an extra 70% of the original cost, far above the variance of 5-10% for construction projects.


Others projects are the RM120 million Middle Ring Road 2, where an additional RM70 million or 60% had to be paid for repair work; the RM167 million Matrade building which was eventually completed at a cost of RM287 million; and the RM198 million Navy Recruit Training Centre (Pularek) which had 7,032 defects and needed an additional RM13 million.  


Instead of asking Abdul Rahim to shut up, Samy should be directing his anger against those responsible.



* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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