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Just as professionals have ethical standard, developers and contractors must also have similar standard.

Media Statement
by Tan Seng Giaw

(Kepong, Tuesday): Professional bodies such as the Board of Engineers should make sure that members abide by ethical standard. Similarly, the Malaysian Government should have measures to ensure that developers and contractors follow similar standard. This is one way of protecting the people from being shortchanged.

Today, the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu gave a keynote address during the official opening of Forum on Integrity in construction sector at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity. He stressed on the need for integrity in the construction sector, quoting, among many things, the abandonment of the Cameron Highlands Hospital project by the contractor. He agrees that as engineers and architects have codes of ethics, so should contractors who appear to be above the professionals.

In April 2004, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said :"The effort to enhance integrity based on National Integrity Plan (NIP), and coordinated by Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM), will form a concept that is appealing to all Malaysians. It will be a source of strength for Malaysians to manage its success and overcome its weaknesses..."

There are developers and contractors who complete projects according to specifications. But, there are those who, for one reason or another, fail miserably. They make people suffer. Would the forum on integrity help?

Apart from the Cameron Highlands Hospital project mentioned above, other projects that have caused headache include the flyover at Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2)in Kepong, Matrade building, East Coast Highway, Penang Outer Ring Road, Johor Baru Pandan Hospital, Temerloh Hospital and 18 problematic school projects.

For over a year, 31 out of 32 pillars of the Kepong flyover (viaduct)have cracks. Four consultants from Australia, Germany and United Kingdom respectively have been engaged to study the cracks. Finally the UK consultant Halcrow Group has found crystals called ettringite in the cracks.

The two outer lanes of the six-lane flyover are closed to traffic. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the Public Works Department to publish the report on the MRR2 flyover and to repair the cracks.

Does the Government truly intend to stop negotiated tenders and open up all tenders? Would it adopt international criteria to appoint contractors? We require effective measures to ensure that developers and contractors have codes of ethics.



* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong

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