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Stop collection for the "half-baked" SMART tunnel

Media Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew


(Petaling Jaya, Sunday) : I have just got back from a press conference at Cheras MP YB Tan Kok Wai's office on the issues of SMART system and KL floods. MPs present include Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang), Teresa Kok (Seputeh) and Tan Kok Wai (Cheras).

The SMART cost RM2.168 billion to build, of which more RM1.5 billion was paid by the Federal Government. The developer MMC-Gamuda only paid about RM600 million. SMART was originally to be completed by end 2006. But it will only be ready by 23 June 2007.

SMART has started to collect toll fees on 15 June 2007 (RM2.00 one way) despite of the fact that it was uncompleted (the flood tunnels).

DAP have suggested that there must a stringent schedule of maintenance to ensure the safety and comfort of the tunnels and stop the collection of toll fees before the tunnels were compeleted on 23 June 2007.

Besides showing the video clips taken at the tunnels on 12 June 2007 (it's now on youtube, under very "Smart" Tunnel in Malaysia), we have also released a statement prepared with the help of some experts…

Observations, Questions and Suggestions by a structural engineer after an inspection of the not so Smart tunnel on Tuesday (12 June 2007) afternoon…


1. There are plenty of minor defects. Water was seen seeping through from both the soffits on the top and the slabs on the floors. These could be seen even with naked eyes if one travels with a low speed. One could see plenty of holes left behind by extensive pressure grouting. Grouting was carried extensively, indicating that structural hairline cracks were everywhere. But pressure grouting is only a temporary measure but certainly not a permanent or proper remedy.

2. The workmanship of the tunnels was poor and far from satisfactory in view of the high cost of construction (more than RM2.1 billion).

3. Cladding was done extensively on most parts of the tunnels. This is highly improper and unnecessary because cladding makes detection of defects (such as cracks) very difficult if not impossible.

4. Pressure grouting is an expensive process. It could runs into millions of ringgit over a period of time.

5. The 'riding quality' of the tunnels was very poor. Driving through the tunnels is not very pleasant.


1. What is the actual cost of construction of the entire Smart system?

2. Why the foreign company involved in drilling of the tunnels abandoned the job? Was there a legal tussle between MMC- Gamuda and the foreign company who was trusted to do the drilling?

3. Why the government bulldozed through the project despite of the peculiar underground limestone structure, which makes drilling and construction of tunnels very difficult and uneconomical?

4. How effective the Smart system would be in terms of flood mitigation? The DID itself has openly admitted that the flood mitigation function of the Smart system, at the most, could only achieve some 60%. How the DID arrives at such conclusion?

5. If the entire Smart system could be used for flood mitigation, why cladding was done so extensively? And if the second level could also be used for flood mitigation as well (as reported by TV3 evening news on Wednesday 12 June 2007), what will happen to the lightings, equipments and road furniture? What kind of cocks and bulls story is this?


1. Maintenance is utmost important for the tunnels. A stringent schedule of maintenance must be adhered to at all times to ensure the safety and comfort of the tunnel users.

2. No collection of toll fees to be allowed before the entire tunnel was completed for full operation (including flood mitigation). Precedent must not be set in this case. If the entire Smart tunnel system could only be completed on or after 23 June 2007, any collection of toll fees should only be imposed after the date of completion.


*Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief

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