Thursday, September 21, 2006

SAMY VELU Angered by DAP Queries Ordered INVESTIGATION of Sub-STANDARD Refurbishment Repairs; NAJIB:NO Intention to Cover Up; PM: Sub-Con NO PAYMENT

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was grilled by opposition members over the poor monitoring of school repair projects in Parliament when winding up the debate for the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat.

He was miffed after being queried why "no action was taken against the contractors for shoddy work in school repairs and whether the cabinet reprimand against the Depputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat would be withdrawn".

Meanwhile the works ministry has directed an immediate probe on the sub-standard refurbishment and repair works at SKC KUNG YU in Muar. The Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu said that Rm30,000 was allocated for the project but the refurbishment works were not that much.

In another written reply to DAP's query of NON-PAYMENT to Chinese Sub-Cons, PM Abdullah refused to interfere in this "ali-baba" business. (see below)

Datuk Samy Vellu: “I have issued a directive for the Engineer and technician to be investigated by the department before any action can be taken

After Wednesday's cabinet meeting, Deputy Primier Datuk Seri Najib responded: The cabinet takes a serious view of such matters. We don’t want to cover up any weaknesses that have taken place. It is not the government intention to cover up cases like this from the people

from SUN; http://www.sun2surf
PWD probes school's repair work
B. Suresh Ram Updated: 07:15PM Tue, 19 Sep 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Works Department (PWD) is to investigate how
RM30,000 was released to a contractor for repairs at SJKC Kung Yu in Muar
when the work done was
valued at only RM3,000.

"Repairs at SJKC Aik Hwa were completed satisfactorily at RM20,000. But the job at Kung Yu is not satisfactory," Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said when winding up the debate for the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat

ABOVE: The affected 65 year old School in Panchor, Muar

He and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting inspected the two schools in Johor on Monday for a first-hand look following the fuss kicked up by MCA vice-president and Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat who claimed that funds for the schools were "hijacked".

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein took offence of Ong's statement and complained to the cabinet which reprimanded Ong for breaching the rules by commenting on another ministry's affairs.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed then apologised to Hishammuddin on behalf of Ong.
Samy Vellu said: "I have no power to suspend or shoot people. Action can only be taken upon completion of investigations."

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) asked: "Will the cabinet retract its decision to reprimand Ong?"

Opposition Leader, Lim Kit Siang (ABOVE) and Fong Po Khuan (BELOW) posing the "annoying and irritating" questions to Samy Vellu in Parliament on Tuesday, 19th Sept 06

To repeated questioning from Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) on why there was no action taken against the Kung Yu contractor, Samy Vellu told her that the matter is "still under investigation".

An angry Samy Vellu with clenched fists replied: "I do not have any connection with the matter. I do not want to answer that."

"You are a lawyer - you do not know the law is it? Don't tell me that you shoot a person first, and then take him to court?"

Earlier, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urged the cabinet to retract its reprimand of Ong."
In an immediate reaction, Ka Ting said: "Lim is merely playing politics on the matter. Guan Eng can say what he likes. That's a very political statement. I will not fall into his trap."
from NST

Ministers to report findings on Chinese schools to Cabinet
19 Sep 2006

MUAR: Two ministers yesterday visited SJKC Ai Hwa in Panchor and SJKC Kung Yu in Kundang Ulu, schools embroiled in a controversy over claims that funds intended for them had been misused.

ABOVE: Samy being shown documents relating to the renovation of the School

ABOVE and BELOW: Part of the shoddy repair works being done on the school for less than RM3000 and the billing came to RM30,000

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who arrived with Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, said he would report his findings to the Cabinet.

He said the Cabinet would decide on the matter based on the findings.

The controversy arose when Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat, at a dinner with teachers and board members of a Chinese school in Muar recently, was quoted as saying that government officers had misused funds earmarked for refurbishment of several Chinese schools in Johor.

Ong later denied the report, saying his statement had been translated wrongly.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein rapped Ong over his statement while the Cabinet reprimanded the MCA vice-president for commenting on another ministry's affairs.

Education Ministry secretary- general Datuk Dr Zulkarnain Awang later clarified that the repair and upgrading works of the two schools had been completed and the bills, RM29,950 for SJKC Kung Yu and RM19,941.16 for SJKC Ai Hwa, had been settled.

Samy Vellu said he was happy to see works carried out in both schools but declined to say whether they were up to standard.

"I want to make sure the contractors carry out the work according to the allocation."

Samy Vellu said the school board could lodge a report if the repair work was shoddy.

Education Ministry Wants Issue Of Repairs Of SJKC Stopped; September 19, 2006 15:34 PM

JOHOR BAHARU, Sept 19 (Bernama) -- The Education Ministry wants the issue of alleged mismanagement of funds to upgrade two national-type Chinese schools (SJKC) in the state not be prolonged.

Its Deputy Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said it was also clear that the Education Department officers were not involved and he hoped the Works Ministry would resolve the issue as soon as possible.

"The alleged mismanagement does not involve the Education Ministry. What is more important is that the issue should not be prolonged considering that the ministry has other matters to give priority to."

Hon said this after officiating the 24th national-level Prime Minister Unity Trophy's oratory contest and Bahasa
Malaysia written test for Chinese and Tamil national-type primary schools, here Tuesday.

He said there were more than 10,000 schools throughout the country and the ministry certainly had various other matters to address in developing the country's education sector.

The mismanagement issue cropped up after Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat claimed there were government officers squandering special funds for upgrading SJKC Ai Hwa and SJKC Kung Yu in Panchor, Muar.

Yesterday, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu visited the two schools and said that he might table a report on the project to the Cabinet tomorrow if the report was ready.

Commenting on the oratory contest and written test, Hon said the two competitions were meant to further improve the students' skill in the national language.

Such competitions also serve to strengthen unity among students in line with the recently launched Student Integration Plan for Solidarity.

A total of 75 students sat for the written test while 30 students are taking part in the oratory contest which will end tomorrow.


UTP Contractors Told To Solve Problems By Themselves; September 20, 2006 18:42 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the main contractors and sub-contractors involved in the construction of the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) campus in Tronoh, Perak must solve the problems that emerged by themselves.

The Prime Minister said the issues were between the main contractors and sub-contractors, and that the parties should find the best way to solve them.

"Petronas has held several meetings with all those involved and advised them to settle their disputes," he said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat Wednesday.

Abdullah was replying to Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) who had asked whether the Prime Minister would protect and assist Chinese sub-contractors involved in the UTP project who had completed their work but were bogged by payment disputes.

Fong also wanted to know whether action would be taken against Stagno Tech Sdn Bhd, a main contractor in the project, for withholding about RM2 million due to the sub-contractors.

Abdullah said in the case of the UTP development, the construction jobs were offered to several main contractors according to the selection process adopted by Petronas.

He said the main contractors had then appointed several sub-contractors to complete several packages of the job on their behalf.

"Even though Petronas doesn't intervene in the deal between the main contractors and sub-contractors, it always advises the main contractors to ensure that they deal with their sub-contractors in a fair and orderly manner," he added.


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