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Samy Vellu is incompetent and dishonest in trying to cover up the fact that the government chose incompetent and incapable contractors that resulted in shoddy work causing huge losses to the country

 


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng


 

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu is incompetent and dishonest in trying to cover up the fact that the government chose incompetent and incapable contractors that resulted in shoddy work causing huge losses to the country. Samy had issued a statement in the press maintaining that infrastructure projects were awarded to competent contractors. He insisted that contractors are chosen through a detailed process and we not handed to those who are incapable.

Such denials openly contradict Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who announced a committee had been formed, chaired by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hussein, to ensure smooth implementation of all government projects. Deputy Auditor-general Anwari Suri had earlier exposed cases where consultants appointed by contractors for large projects were grossly incompetent, which led to delays. Anwari said some of the contractors fail to meet standards, could not even hire skilled and technical workers due to lack of funds and this had resulted in shoddy work.

Among these are the RM120 million Middle Ring Road 2, where an additional RM70 million 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.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministerís 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.

More importantly, this only includes the money spent by the government to bailout failed privatized ventures during the past 5 years from 2001-2006. There were 490 projects were privatised from 1983 to 2005, and Malaysians do not know the number requiring bailouts out of the 490 privatised projects since 1983 by the Federal government. What about those failed privatized ventures rescued by the government before 2001 such as the twin RM 3.5 billion Bumiputra Finance scandals or RM 5 billion Perwaja scandals?

For Samy to refuse to follow Abdullah in admitting that his Ministry had appointed incompetent and incapable contractors and deny that such unqualified contractors were the cause of failed projects causing billions of ringgit in losses is not only irresponsible and dishonest. Samyís denial syndrome would only lead to more incompetent and incapable contractors being appointed who will cause the public to lose further tens of billions of ringgit.

How can Abdullah succeed in fighting corruption if he has Ministers like Samy who refuse to co-operate and seek truth from facts? If Abdullah is serious about stopping incompetent and incapable contractor from being selected to undertake government projects and causing billions of ringgit in losses, Abdullah should first sack incompetent and incapable Ministers like Samy.

(6/2/2007)


* Lim Guan Eng,  Secretary-General of DAP

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