Will the RM238
million MRR2 Kepong flyover scandal end up like the RM140 million computer
lab fiasco, with PWD still unable to complete rectification of all the
sub-standard labs despite year-end completion deadline after PWD takeover
in July last year with fruitless and inconclusive ACA investigations
after more than a year?
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): The thunderous official silence in the past few days on the RM238 million Middle Ring Road Two (MRR2) Kepong flyover closure scandal causing nightmarish traffic gridlocks affecting hundreds of thousands of people does not augur well that the government and the Cabinet Ministers take seriously their 2004 general election pledge of accountability, transparency and good governance or their general election slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang”.
There is thunderous silence from the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, the Public Works Department (PWD), the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) and the Prime Minister – making light of the scandal of the MRR2 Kepong flyover closure within two years of completion when it should be able to last for 50 years without any structural problems, the return of the three-year nightmarish traffic gridlocks suffered by the tens of thousands of commuters during its construction when it should have taken two years and the first significant failure under the Abdullah premiership to eradicate the “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” malaise retarding Malaysia from becoming a fully-developed nation.
The question that should be uppermost in the minds of all Malaysians is - Will the RM238 million MRR2 Kepong flyover scandal end up like the RM140 million computer lab fiasco, with PWD still unable to complete rectification of all the sub-standard labs despite year-end completion deadline after the PWD takeover of the project in July last year with fruitless and inconclusive ACA investigations after more than a year?
In July last year, the nation was shocked by the revelation of the RM140 million computer school lab fiasco in phase one (eastern zone) of the project, when it was announced that from a PWD inspection of 600 schools in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, 487 labs were found to be unsafe for use, including 87 listed as “dangerous”. A few months earlier, the roof of a lab in a national primary school in Bera, Pahang collapsed during a thunderstorm.
There was a nation-wide furore and soul-searching, blame was pinned on the contractor, consultant and sub-contractors, a Special Cabinet Committee was formed to find solutions and by July 23, 2003, the school computer lab (eastern zone first phase) contracts to contractor Bell Grand Sdn Bhd and consultant QSC Projects Sdn. Bhd were terminated, the whole project handed over to the JKR to be completed by the end of the year while the ACA had started investigations into the corruption dimensions of the school computer lab fiasco.
It is fortunate that nobody had the idea last year that all repair and rectification work on the some 600 sub-standard school computer labs in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang should be suspended until the ACA has completed its investigations, as there is simply no word as to what has happened to these ACA investigations after after more than a year – as no one has been arrested or prosecuted in court!
In any event, even without being held up by the ACA investigations, the PWD had failed to meet the deadline to get all the school computer labs ready for use in time for the opening of the new school year this January. Even up to now, the number of school computer labs from the “phase one, eastern zone” project which have not yet been completed are still counted in the hundreds, although it was already more than two years behind the original deadline of May 14, 2001 when the PWD took over the responsibility for these sub-standard school computer labs.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman