Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MORE PICS – DAP Dares SAMY To Bare ALL in MR2 FIASCO; SHOCKING Disclosures: Contractors awarded lack expertise; Incompetent; Ready For a Quick Buck

The off-the-cuff replies (as reported ONLY in the Sunday Star, 11 Feb 07, are piecemeal and sketchy and provide NO details. It was reported (correctly or incorrectly that “RM 8 million was paid to a foreign consultant”. Only One consultant; not three? Earlier reports indicated a neutral consultant Halcrow Group Ltd was appointed. This was what Samy was quoted “Clarifying reports on the foreign consultants involved in the case, Samy Vellu said the first consultant -- Mounsell, Sharma and Zakaria -- are the original design consultants."Once the problem was identified, they asked Monash University specialists to study it," he said. At the same time, the contractor, Sukmim, Bumi Hiway and KKM (Wilayah), also engaged a German consultant, Kohler & Seitz, to study the problem. As they both came out with different conclusions, the government engaged Halcrow to give the last word, he clarified.”

Even the number of pillars he was quoted now (36 ) is different from the earlier ones – “18 out of 31 pillars). 31, 33 or 36 ; how many Samy? See previous Post H E R E and quote below. How many pillars Samy. Your facts are changing and so is your truth! And yest he claimed he has nothing to hide. Then give a F U L L statement and stop beating about the bush.

"We did not want to be faced with the same problem with the other pillars (of MRR2). So, we took into account all the 31 pillars and, therefore, the cost increased by RM30 million," he said.
The confusion, mystery & discrepancies deepen and MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw should at the next March 07 Parliament sitting queries him further for a more detailed statement (and WHY the local consultants and builders are not liable to the repair cost for this fiasco) IF he said there is nothing to hide.

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Sunday February 11, 2007; Sunday STAR

Samy explains RM70m bill

SUNGAI SIPUT: Consultant fees and additional work have pushed up the cost of repairing the RM120mil Middle Ring Road Two by almost four times. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the initial repair cost was RM18mil but because of the additional cost, it had gone up to RM70mil. “The initial figure did not take into consideration the RM8mil paid to a foreign consultant,” he told reporters after presenting ang pow and hampers to Sungai Siput Old Folks Home residents yesterday.

He said the number of pillars needed to be repaired also doubled from 18 to 36. Samy Vellu was commenting on a statement by Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad who questioned the high repair cost. Ticking off the Opposition for challenging him to reveal the reason behind the higher repair cost, the minister said: “We have nothing to hide. You ask, I will answer.”

The MRR2's 1.7km flyover in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, was closed on Aug 8, 2004, as a precautionary measure after hairline cracks were detected on the columns. It was reopened to light vehicles on Nov 12 and to all vehicles on Dec 7 the same year. However, it was closed again in February last year for remedial works. Commenting on calls to make public the agreements between the Government and highway concessionaires, Samy Vellu said both parties had to agree before they could be made public. He added that the agreement could not be changed even if it was made public. “You will not be satisfied even if you have viewed it,” the minister said

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Toll concession agreements: Need for nod to go public

11 Feb 2007; Shahrul Hafeez

SUNGAI SIPUT: Consent would have to be obtained from the concessionaires of tolled roads before their agreements with the government could be made public, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. Even if the agreements were declassified, those unhappy with the terms would not be able to change them, he said here yesterday.

The minister was commenting on calls for toll concession agreements to be removed from the ambit of Official Secrets Act (OSA). "The agreements are an understanding reached between the two parties. Approval for them to be made public has to come from the Cabinet and then we have to get the concessionaires to agree," he said. Samy Vellu pointed out that the government had been transparent with the concession deals and had even invited DAP members to look at the agreement for the construction of the North-South Expressway. This month, police took statements from four opposition politicians over the disclosure of the agreement with Litrak, the concession-holder for the Damansara-Puchong Highway, after it increased toll charges from RM1 to RM1.60 last month. They were Pas treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) treasurer Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR information chief Tian Chua and Ronnie Liu, who heads the DAP’s bureau on non-governmental organisations. They claimed that the government had, in the agreement, guaranteed profits to the concessionaire. Under Section 8 of the OSA, a conviction for an offence carries a maximum jail term of 12 months.

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The facts were made by 2nd Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Deputy Auditor-General Anwari Suri (in an article in Buletin Audit).

The shocking facts about contractors who were awarded government projects but lack expertise. These are the heights of Government irresponsibility and this state of affairs is allowed to continue by Datuk Samy Velu when he announced that the “design & build” concept would continue, see previous post H E R E. The recent projects in spotlights are:

* Middle Ring Road 2: Cost - RM120m; an extra RM70m to pay for repair work
* Navy Recruit Training Centre (Pularek): Cost - RM198m; extra RM13m needed, 7,032 defects
* Matrade Building: Cost - RM287m; the cost kept rising until it reached that amount.

(see previous post H E R E.)

Meanwhile the DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw has challenged Datuk Samy Vellu to disclose further details and explanations for the MMR2 fiasco which is costing the taxpayers to pay dearly.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw: 1st it was RM18 Millionm, then RM40 Million....

Now He admitted to RM70 Million.. partly to repairs... partly to pay the Consultants... "I want Samy to announce. how many consultants and people were appointed to this repair fiasco"
Also "Reaveal the anti-corruption investigating findings in the MMR2 Cracks; make it public Samy"
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Friday, February 02, 2007; Dr Tan Seng Giaw

The explanation on RM70 million to repair Kepong MRR2 is unsatisfactory
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw is very unhappy with the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's answer to the extra RM70 million for the repair of the extensive cracks of the Kepong MRR2. Dr Tan comments on Samy Vellu's explanation on 1 February, 2007 that the government had to spend RM70 million in the repair of the serious cracks of the Middle Ring Road Two. This includes fees to the project's consultants. The explanation is unsatisfactory. Two years ago Samy insisted that the bad cracks of 31 crossbeams of MRR2 out of 33 was not due to design fault. Now, he attributes the cracks to the design-and-build concept which he said was "shoddy". Last year, he asked the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to announce the appointment of the British consultant with a cost of RM18 million. Then, the Cabinet agreed to the replacement of the British consultant with the German firm at the cost of RM40 million, to be paid by the contractor. Now, the expenditure is RM70 million. The MRR2 saga including the repair boggles the mind. The culture of high cost, delay, multiple consultants, shoddy work and extraordinary cost is amazing. This type of culture should not be allowed to persist until 2020 when Malaysia is targetted to be a developed nation. We need to know the truth about the MRR2 saga, especially the number of consultants appointed by the various people involved and the actual cost.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

The actual cost of Kepong MRR2 (flyover) project? ; Dr Tan Seng Giaw

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Works Ministry to make public the detailed expenditure for the Kepong MRR2 (flyover) project, including the real expenditure for the repair of the extensive cracks. Dr Tan comments on the Kepong MRR2 in the midst of the celebration of the Federal Territory Day, 1.2.2007. Today, we are happy to celebrate Federal Territory Day with the myriad programmes at Merdeka Square, officiated by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The PM is visibly happy. In the midst of the celebration, we look at certain unhappy things such as the Kepong MRR2 saga. At the end of last year, the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced the complete opening of the flyover, three lanes in each direction. While this shows that the repair works is completed, we are still waiting for the details of the expenditure on the flyover as well as the actual cost of the repair. Kepong MRR2 is virtually similar to many flyovers along the Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2. So far, other flyovers show no defects. Kepong MRR2 has 33 cross beams, 31 of which were cracked. In 2006, the Works Minister went to the Prime Minister to announce the appointment of a British consultant to do the repair of the cracks for RM14 million. Two weeks later, the Works Ministry had the approval of the Cabinet to replace the British with a German consultant, costing RMN40 million. Now, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu admitted that the repair cost was RM70 million. When the PM made the announcement, the cost of the repair was to be borne by the contractor. Hitherto, the Government has paid first. We need to know the details of the total cost of the Kepong MRR2 project, including the heavy repair. Who pays for the repair?

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ABOVE & BELOW: The MMR2 fiasco started when cracks were found after its completion in 2002 and repairs completed in Dec 2006 and opened back for traffic

Astonishing... Ridiculous... but True: Costly blunders in awarding contracts

04 Feb 2007; Sarban Singh and Audrey Dermawan; NST
Some shocking facts about contractors who were awarded government projects: They lack expertise. Incompetent. Too ready to make a quick buck. Projects in the spotlight recently:
* Middle Ring Road 2: Cost - RM120m; an extra RM70m to pay for repair work
* Navy Recruit Training Centre (Pularek): Cost - RM198m; extra RM13m needed, 7,032 defects
* Matrade Building: Cost - RM287m; the cost kept rising until it reached that amount.
KUALA LUMPUR: It may sound astonishing; even ridiculous. But it is true. Some tenders for government projects have been awarded to contractors who have no expertise whatsoever. And some have been given to those who do not have sufficient financial means to complete the work. Some contractors sell their contracts for a quick buck. And some consultants are grossly incompetent. Is it any wonder then that there are costly delays in project completion? And it’s no wonder costly repairs need to be undertaken on finished projects. These facts were revealed yesterday by Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and deputy Auditor-General Anwari Suri. Although neither of them mentioned it, several government projects have been in the limelight recently for not meeting standards.

ABOVE: The specifications of the repairs and BELOW: Close up of details of the steel reinforced attachment to the cross beams.

Among these are the RM120 million Middle Ring Road 2, where an additional RM70 million had to be paid for repair work; the RM167 million Matrade building which was eventually completed at a cost of RM287 million; and the RM198 million Navy Recruit Training Centre (Pularek) which had 7,032 defects and needed an additional RM13 million. Anwari said there were cases where consultants appointed by contractors for large projects were grossly incompetent, which led to delays in the completion of the projects. "Some of the contractors could not even hire skilled and technical workers due to lack of funds and this has many a time resulted in shoddy work. "The plans for the projects were also sub-standard and their workers were not trained to do what they did." Anwari said this in an article, Monitoring Construction Projects, which he co-authored with the department’s technical adviser, Abdul Razak Sulong.

It appeared in the department’s magazine, Buletin Audit. "(Under such circumstances) You can monitor and audit the project for all you want but if these aspects are not looked into, the end-result could be embarrassing." Anwari said some contractors used inferior quality construction materials, such as adulterated cement and low quality wood, to cut costs. "There have been cases where the construction materials used were not according to that stated in the contract specifications. The use of such materials could eventually affect the entire structure." Poorly stored building materials, he added, could also contribute to poor quality of work. Anwari said some contractors still used old building techniques and this too contributed to delays. "All ministries and departments must set up teams to supervise this. "They must have regular meetings and visit the sites regularly. They should also have proper records on progress of work, conduct tests on the materials used and ensure that all records are well maintained," he said.

"It is also their job to ensure the contractors have enough skilled workers to complete the given task." In George Town, Nor Mohamed lamented that the majority of the 32,000 registered Class F contractors nationwide had yet to "graduate" to Class A despite being given contracts worth hundreds of thousands of ringgit. One of the reasons was that some of them sold their contracts for a quick buck. In expressing disappointment with this, the minister said the government had given more than ample contracts to these contractors.

Class F contractors are those who can take up jobs worth not more than RM200,000.
"We have even introduced various schemes to help them," he told reporters after officiating the balloting to appoint contractors to undertake small projects in the Southwest District in Balik Pulau yesterday. "Sadly, many of them still fail to improve themselves." Present were Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, the ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya, Implementation and Co-ordination Unit director-general Tan Sri Khalid Ramli and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Izzuddin Dali. Nor Mohamed, however, had praises for certain Class F contractors who performed well and had become Class A contractors.

He commended Penang’s Mohamed Fadzill Hassan, who had worked his way up from a Class F to a Class A contractor. "He should be a role model for others to emulate. "The government will continue to help in promoting these successful contractors. I am sure if the contractors carry out the jobs given to them properly, they will also achieve great success," he said. Earlier in his speech, Nor Mohamed said the government had allocated RM2.1 billion this year for 40,000 small projects nationwide. The projects are expected to benefit 32,000 Class F contractors. Penang has been given RM148 million from the total amount for 3,000 projects, which are mainly infrastructure-based.

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for the previous posting , Go H E R E on

MORE PICS – MMR2 REPAIRS COST ESTIMATED RM20 Mln to RM70 MlnPROJECT COST RM120Million; SHOCKING REVEALATION by PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir; and the "faceless" people at Bumi Highway


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