Malaysians, particularly hundreds of thousands directly affected by the nightmarish traffic gridlock caused by the closure of the two-year-old MRR2 Kepong flyover, have been taken for a ride by Cabinet, especially Samy Vellu and Chan Kong Choy, when  MRR2 was not discussed in Cabinet yesterday

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Malaysians,  particularly  the hundreds of thousands suffering as a result of the nightmarish traffic gridlock caused by the closure of the two-year-old MRR2 Kepong flyover, have been taken for a ride by  the Cabinet, especially by Samy Vellu and Chan Kong Choy, when  MRR2 was not discussed in Cabinet yesterday. 

Malaysians were  waiting for the outcome of the Cabinet meeting yesterday for some light, sanity and the first glimpse that Malaysia is firmly on track to eradicate  the “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” malaise which had been so brilliantly diagnosed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the bane to progress, development and achievement of fully-developed nation status by Malaysia, with the Abdullah Cabinet demonstrating the hallmarks of   “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality” handling of the  RM238 million MRR2 scandal.


But there was only disappointment, disbelief  and shock when  the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu revealed  that the Cabinet yesterday did not discuss the MRR2, whether on who should absorb the RM20 million cost to repair the MRR2 Kepong flyover or other aspects, such  as how a modern infrastructure which is supposed to last for 50 years without any structural problems has to be closed within two years, whether the flyover cracks are the result of design failure or construction negligence, etc.


After last Wednesday’s  Cabinet meeting where he gave a briefing on MRR2, Samy Vellu announced that his Ministry would prepare and present a working paper on MRR2, including a RM20 million repair proposal, to the Cabinet the following week.


On Monday, Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy confirmed  that the RM20 million budget proposal for the MRR2 Kepong flyover repairs would be on the Cabinet agenda yesterday, that Samy Vellu would table the proposal and that he as a cabinet member and the Member of Parliament for Selayang  would  second the budget  proposal. (Sin Chew Daily 17.8.04)


Why has the Cabinet agenda on the  MRR2 Kepong flyover repairs  suddenly and completely fizzled out yesterday? 


Why didn’t Samy Vellu present to Cabinet the working paper on MRR2  which he had promised a week ago, and why didn’t Chan Kong Choy raise the MRR2  issue so that  the Kepong flyover could  be re-opened for use as soon as possible?  Why have Samy Vellu, Chan Kong Choy and all the other Cabinet Ministers let down the rakyat  by  turning their backs to  the MRR2 problem and the daily sufferings of the tens of thousands of commuters?


This whole Cabinet episode leaves a bad taste in the mouth and the distinct feeling that the rights and interests of ordinary Malaysians are being trifled with and even trampled on by the Cabinet Ministers.


It would appear that  less than five months after an unprecedented general election victory which had given the Barisan Nasional nine-tenth parliamentary majority, the Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders have begun to forget their general election pledges of humility, accountability, transparency and good governance – which is the only explanation why Samy Vellu, Chan Kong Choy and the Cabinet could act in so cavalier a fashion  in disregarding the daily sufferings of tens of thousands of commuters caused by the closure of the MRR2 Kepong flyover.


Is this also  why Samy Vellu has not deigned it necessary to give a full, proper and satisfactory explanation  for  the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks, and yet insisting that the government has a RM20 million three-month  repair programme without knowing their  real causes?


I have heard complaints that things might have been different if there is a by-election going on in the Federal Territory or Selangor instead of one in Kuala Berang in Terengganu.


Be that as it may, it is time that the Malaysian people, in particular the tens of thousands who have to suffer the daily nightmarish traffic in the affected areas, make their voices heard loud and clear that they want a full,  proper  and satisfactory accounting from Samy Vellu and the government on the MRR2 Kepong flyover scandal and the Cabinet to remember the Barisan Nasional general election pledge of accountability, transparency and good governance.


A start will be a good public response to the call by the DAP MP for Kepong, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, to the people affected by the   MRR2 Kepong flyover closure and all Malaysians who want a “First World Infrastructure, First World Mentality” to start from the top government level to gather for a peaceful protest demonstration at the MRR2 Kepong flyover on Sunday at 10 a.m.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman