Cabinet should postpone or stop the Bakun Dam, Broga Incinerator, Half-Crooked Bridge in the South and the problematic 2-4-3 Formula and National Service programmes before  more damage is done

Press  Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The government has decided to "postpone indefinitely" a controversial multi-billion ringgit rail project, the Edge Daily financial newspaper reported today.

The newspaper's online edition quoted unnamed government sources as saying the decision to shelve the plan was taken at today's cabinet meeting and was driven by "priority of needs" and affordability.

While we welcome the decision of the Cabinet (if it's true), we believe such an important decision calls for greater transparency and accountability and we hope the Cabinet could come out with an official statement to confirm the report immediately.

The project ran into controversy recently when Malaysia dropped a consortium of Indian and Chinese contractors in favour of the local joint-venture (MMC-Gamuda). If the project was allowed to proceed, it would certainly severe the cordial relationship between Malaysia and the two countries, besides tarnishing the reputation and credibility of the Malaysian Government.

We urge the Cabinet to also postpone or drop the following projects as we believe these projects were either insensible, on low priority, bad for health and environment or simply unsustainable:

     The Bakun Dam and the related undersea transmission cables
     The RM1.5 billion Broga incinerator
     The RM1.1 billion half-crooked bridge linking Johor to Singapore
     The problematic National Service programme
     The 2-4-3 Formula (teaching Maths and Science in both English and Mandarin for standard one students for all Chinese primary schools beginning from 2003)

As the "No.1 servant " to the people and the nation, the new PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should have the wisdom and far-sightedness to see whether such projects were actually viable and good. Abdullah has the power to postpone or stop all the above projects and programmes before more damage is done.

The last thing we want is another prime minister who fancies mega projects and white elephants.


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary and Selangor State chairman