Vellu has gone off for a five-day junket in India, Abdullah should ensure
that the Cabinet on Wednesday take a proper decision on the MRR2 Kepong
flyover cracks scandal and give a clear public accounting on the causes and
immediate repair or rectification of the flyover cracks
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has flown off to New Delhi yesterday for a five-day junket in India, leaving in the lurch the hundreds of thousands of people adversely affected by the two-week closure of the MRR2 Kepong floyover without giving any clue as to the causes of the flyover cracks and the actions taken to repair or rectify them so that it could be safely re-opened for public use in the shortest possible time.
This is another example of Samy Vellu’s utter contempt for the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance and it is sad that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has not deemed it fit to rein in his Works Minister who has become a great embarrassment to the Barisan Nasional’s 2004 general election pledge for a clean, incorruptible, accountable, efficient, people-oriented government prepared to hear the truth from the people and the general election slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang”.
The MRR2 Kepong flyover was closed on Sunday, August 8, 2004. At the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 11th August 2004, Samy Vellu grave a briefing to the Cabinet on the MRR2 Kepong flyover closure and he announced after the meeting 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, 16th August 2004, Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy confirmed that the RM20 million budget proposal for the MRR2 Kepong flyover repairs would be presented to the Cabinet the following Wednesday, that Samy Vellu would table the proposal while he as a cabinet member and the Member of Parliament for Selayang would second the proposal. (Sin Chew Daily 17.8.04)
But the Cabinet meeting of 18th August 2004 did not discuss the MRR2 Kepong flyover closure at all, and no explanation has been forthcoming to date as to why Samy Vellu or Chan Kong Choy had broken their public pledges to get Cabinet approval for immediate action to repair or rectify the Kepong flyover cracks.
Now, expectations that the Cabinet on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 would belatedly decide on the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks scandals appear to be heading for another disappointment, as Samy Vellu would not have returned from his five-day junket in India in time for the Cabinet meeting.
Would Chan Kong Choy dare to raise the MRR2 Kepong flyover scandal in the Cabinet on Wednesday in the absence of Samy Vellu? Will there be another Minister acting for Samy Vellu to present the working paper on MRR2 to the Cabinet, which was supposed to be tabled last week? Why did Samy Vellu fail to present the MRR2 working paper to the Cabinet on August 18, knowing full well that the following Wednesday, he would be away in India for a junket?
This is most unsatisfactory and unacceptable state of affairs, as it does not reflect conscientious or responsible Ministerial conduct. In fact, it does not speak well for the high hopes Abdullah has raised among Malaysians that his administration would be characterized by a full Cabinet commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance, raising the question whether the people’s high hopes of the Abdullah premiership must now be replaced with low expectations.
Although Samy Vellu has gone off for a five-day junket in India, DAP calls on Abdullah to be mindful of the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility for the MRR2 Kepong flyover scandal and ensure that the Cabinet on Wednesday take a proper decision on the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks scandal in firstly, giving a clear accounting as to the causes of the flyover cracks and secondly, explaining the actions taken to repair or rectify them so that the RM238 million MRR2 Kepong flyover could be safely re-opened for public use in the shortest possible time.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman