Something Must Be Very Wrong With Finance Or Works Ministry Officials If They Continue To Choose Irresponsible And Incompetent Contractors Who Fail To Complete Government Projects
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi must get the Finance Ministry and the Public Works Department(PWD) to co-ordinate and get their act together to stop the increasing number of failed government projects that have resulted in huge losses to the public. The latest revelation that 16 schools and 5 community colleges nationwide handled by the Finance Ministry have serious structural defects is the latest in the series of failed government projects that have caused public anger.
The public is asking whether there are more failed public projects that have not been exposed? With the recent closure RM557.8 million Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor Baru from fungal infection, the closure of MRR2 Kepong flyover or North-South Highway in Gua Tempurung caused by mudslide, delays in the RM 300 million Matrade building scandal and other construction works, failed public projects involves billions of ringgit.
The public is sick and tired of companies such as Project Management Consultant (PMC), which had been appointed by the Finance Ministry to carry out the construction of the 16 schools and 5 community colleges. How many times do we have to repeat asking the same questions, “Who is the contractor? Who is PMC? Who is the consultant engineer? Why is the contractor or consultant engineers for not doing a competent professional job not blacklisted?" And the most important question of all is why these incompetent contractors still get paid for such shoddy work?
The Finance Ministry or the Works Ministry should be investigated and punished for continuing to engage contractors who fail to complete government projects. Is it too much to ask from our government civil servants to insist that the most competent contractors with proven track record, experience and financial backing who tender the best price be awarded government projects. Something must be very wrong with our government administration if they can not even choose the most professional and best contractors to complete government projects.
Such failed government projects have badly affected Malaysia’s international economic image as competent, competitive and reliable economic growth centre. No wonder our ranking in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index in 2004 dropped two places from No. 39 to 37 when incompetent contractors continue to be employed.
DAP can not understand how the government can stop such loss of public funds or prevent failed projects if those responsible for approving such irresponsible contractors are not punished. This problem must be dealt with at source. As long as government officials who approve such contracts are not accountable then the problem of incompetent contractors failing to complete government projects costing billions of ringgit. will never be resolved.
* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General