Thursday, February 01, 2007

MORE PICS – MMR2 REPAIRS COST ESTIMATED RM20 Mln to RM70 Mln – PROJECT COST RM120Million; SHOCKING REVEALATION by PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir

= = = = == = =UPDATE: Feb 02 07;17:50pm

OSA threat: DAP supports Coalition leaders

No to Toll Hike” PROTEST at the IOI Mall in Puchong at 4pm, SUN 4th Feb

= = == = = == = ==

Thursday, February 1st, 2007; Ronnie Liu, DAP Selangor
In a press conference held at the DAP headquarters in PJ this morning, SecGen Lim Guan Eng said the party will give legal and other support to all Coalition (Coalition Agianst Toll Hike) leaders who were summoned for OSA investigation. Lim has described the OSA investigation as high- and- heavy- handed, dictatorial and undemocratic. He criticised the BN Government for resorting to such threats in order to silent dissent on the toll hike. He said the rakyat, as taxpayers and road users, have the right to know the details of the toll concession agreement. So far, 4 of us were summoned to Bukit Aman on
Monday 5 Feb 2007 ( Dr Hatta Ramli, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Tian Chua and me).
Many have called me soon after they know about the latest development. They were extremely unhappy with the high-handed approach taken by the BN Government . They all opined that the Umno-led BN Government must have a lot to hide from the rakyat. CIJ ( Centre of Independent Jounalists) will hold a press conference tomorrow to reiterate its stand on the need of freedom of information in this country in view of the recent threat of OSA. I urge all Malaysians to be united under the Coalition and continue to lend support to our public actions. Please come in full force on the coming SundayNo to Toll Hike” peaceful demonstration to be held at the IOI Mall in Puchong at 4pm and at the same time show your solidarity with all four of us who were threatened with OSA.

See you on Sunday, 4pm at the IOI Mall, Puchong
= = == = = =
UPDATE: Feb 02 2007; 5.17am

These off the cuff remarks by Samy Vellu are perplexing. In all the references there was only a mention of an estimated RM20 million repair bill and now he has come out with a cabinet approval of RM40 Million which must be a recent one. And where can we find the references stating that only 18 pillars were affected and not 31?.

The highly inflated cost of RM70 million is indeed for the 31 pillars but NOT due to the increase from 18 to 31 pillars for cracks only due to water seepage and corrosion as claimed earlier. The real reason is perhaps due to the massive reinforcements being done to the crossbeams (see the pictures posted). See also report below in SUN (by Suresh Ram) in which he was quoted. We have asked Halcrow to prepare a detailed report, including the rehabilitation/remedial work that needs to be done within a month

And yet he can dismissed this asfailure of one or two projects” and allow this state of affairs to continue. Yes “design & build” is good & CHEAPER but OPEN TENDER it and allow ALL to participate and we do not have to see all these delay and sordid affairs cropping up time and again in the future.

So when will this happen?? Till we have a NEW Works Minister who can understand why our pockets are FULL of Holes with all these unnecessary leakages!!

= = = = =

Govt To Continue With Design And Build Concept

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 (Bernama) -- The government will continue with its practice of the "design and build" concept for its development projects because method has proven to be effective, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today. He also said that the concept was also practised by other countries and was successful because it was practical and cost-effective. "The use of other concepts will only increase the cost and take time," he told reporters during his visit to Batu Caves near here in conjunction with Thaipusam today. He said the failure of one or two projects does not mean that the concept was weak and a total failure.

Samy Vellu was asked to comment on a report quoting Public Accounts Committee Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad as saying that the increase in the cost of repairing cracks on a stretch of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kepong from RM40 million to RM70 million indicated weakness in the "design and build" concept practised by the government. Shahrir had said that the concept made it difficult for the authorities to determine who is responsible, the contractor or the consultant, when a project faces problems. He also said that the repair cost was too high compared to the original estimate to repair the flyover that was built at a cost of RM120 million. The flyover was closed for about six months from February last year after the cracks were detected. Referring to Shahrir's statement on the cost of repair, Samy Vellu said the cost went up to RM70 million because the repairs involved all 31 pillars of the flyover and not just 18 as per the original estimate.

He said the increase in cost from the original allocation of RM40 million announced by the Cabinet was to ensure that the problem did not recur. "I would like to explain why the JKR (Public Works Department) spent RM70 million. At first, we estimated the cost of repairs to the pillars and crossbeams at RM40 million by taking into account the 18 pillars (reported to have cracks). "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.

= = == = = =
When repairs were completed in Dec 06 2006 & reopened to all traffic, the Works Minister was mum about the cost of the repairs and who is shouldering the cost of repair. He ONLY expressed the inconvenience caused only and the repairs were “aimed at ensuring the safety of all users

ABOVE & BELOW: These are the faces behind the "world class Construction Supermarket" - Bumi Highway - the designer & builders of the failed MMR2 Section. Actually what is the connection of a "supermarket" with constrcution. Anyone can profer a guess??

Not a word against the incompetent and inept Designer, Consultant & Contractor – all under the same company – formed by a group of ex-JKR retired engineers. They should be made to pay back every cent of the profit they made out of this section of the MMR2 and declared bankrupt and barred forever from undertaking any project. He was quoted: “not be drawn into apportioning responsibility for the faults, and who should pay for it, adding that the government would pay for it first. He further added"We can ask the contractor to pay, but if the contractor says he is not interested in doing the job for the lack of funds, then how? Do we have to wait until it obtains the funds?

And what has the Professional bodies like IEM, ACEM and the Board of Engineers got to say about this massive failure. There are thousands of undergraduate and post graduate students doing thesis and they should make an effort to touch on this “cracks saga” and earned their PhD or MSc degree.

From the pictures below it can be seen, the structures undergone massive repairs in strengthening the “cross T-Beams”. No wonder Datuk Shahrir estimated the repair cost comes to RM70 million more than half the project cost. Initially it was estimated at Rm20 Million and now has ballooned to RM70 million. Samy was quoted as: ” He said the RM20 million repair bill he mentioned earlier was only an estimate but added that it would not exceed this amount.” Now what has he got to say about his lousy estimate? He seemed to be taking through his mouth!

= = = = = = =

January 30, 2007 21:09 PM

MRR2 Repairs Probably Cost RM70 Mln, Says Shahrir

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 30 (Bernama) -- Repair works on the defective flyover of Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) in Kepong probably cost RM70 million, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad says. "It has not been confirmed but I expect it's bigger than the earlier estimate," he said when visiting the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base in Teluk Sepanggar, Tuesday. "The total project cost is RM120 million but the repair work is RM70 million, out of sudden the whole project costs more," he told reporters. He said the PAC was very concerned with the cost involved in the repair work and wanted to know whether public funds had been properly spent. "Perhaps, we (the PAC) will meet or be briefed on the total cost," he said. The PAC which met for the first time outside Kuala Lumpur yesterday, has visited two projects in Sabah that are facing problems - the construction of a 18km road from Kampung Kokol in Tamparuli to Poring-Poring in Ranau and an access to the Teluk Sepanggar RMN base. Shahrir said both projects failed to be completed under the Eight Malaysia Plan (8MP) and had to be carried forward into the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

He urged the government to complete projects that were carried forward from the 8MP at the early stages of the 9MP.

= = == = = =

December 08, 2006 15:00 PM

Repair works completed, MRR2 open to all vehicles

ABOVE & BELOW: The underdesigned "cross-beams" being heavily reinforced for strength

KUALA LUMPUR: The Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) flyover in Kepong was fully opened to all vehicles last night. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said all remedial work on the flyover had been fully completed and all six lanes on both sides of the flyover opened to light and heavy vehicles.

ABOVE: Closer details of the remedial repairs done on the Cross beams (BELOW)

The remedial work, which began in March, was completed on schedule, he said in a statement here. The temporary structure erected to prevent heavy vehicles from using the flyover has been removed, making the flyover accessible to all vehicles. Samy Vellu thanked all users for their patience during the period of construction. “My regrets for all the inconvenience caused to the public during the closure of the flyover, but it was aimed at ensuring the safety of all users,” he said. The 1.7km flyover was closed on Aug 8, 2004, as a precautionary measure after hairline cracks were detected on the columns supporting the flyover.

ABOVE & BELOW: Further close up views of the additional reinforcment on the LEFT side of the T-Cross beams.

It was reopened to light vehicles on Nov 12, 2004, and to all vehicles on Dec 7, 2004.

ABOVE & BELOW: Look at the Cross-beams - with the additional reinforcement jutting well outside the LEFT & Right sides; This clearly indicates, the original design were insufficient to carry the running load of the vehicles

However, it was again closed last February for remedial works. Following this, four out of six lanes of the flyover were reopened to light vehicles. – Bernama

ABOVE & BELOW: Close up views of the cover-up (for concreting) juttings on the LEFT & RIGHT sides of the cross beams

Note: All the above pics were taken at the height of the repairs in Aug 2006 and the MMR2 was reopend on Dec 07 2006. If these are NOT design flaws as Samy claimed, then what is it?. The sizes of the cross beams have been considerably increased

= = = == =
MRR2 Flyover Fully Opens At Midnight; December 08, 2006 15:00 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 (Bernama) -- The Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) flyover in Kepong here will be fully opened to all vehicles from midnight today, said Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today. He said all remedial works on the flyover had been fully completed. All six lanes on both sides of the flyover would be opened fully to light and heavy vehicles, he added in a statement here. Samy Vellu said remedial works which began in March this year, were smoothly carried out as scheduled. "The temporary structure which was erected to prevent heavy vehicles from using the flyover will be removed today. "At midnight, the flyover will be 100 per cent accessible to all vehicles."
Samy Vellu also thanked all users for their patience during the period of construction.
"My regrets for the inconvenience caused to the public during the closure of the flyover but it was aimed at ensuring the safety of all users," he said. The 1.7km flyover was closed to all traffic from Aug 8, 2004 as a precautionary measure after hairline cracks were detected on the columns supporting the flyover. It was reopened to light vehicles on Nov 12, 2004 and to all vehicles on Dec 7, 2006.
However, it was again closed last February for remedial works. Four out of six lanes of the flyover were reopened to light vehicles late this year.
= = = = === BACKGROUND Info on this MMR2 Saga from 2004; another Samy Vellu OSA muzzle
March 2002 Completed in 34 months from May 1999
(design and built the entire package 11 exact contract sum
is RM238,828,257.16 by Sukmin Sdn Bhd, Bumihiway (M)
Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Kontraktor Melayu (Wilayah
)

Aug 8, 2004 1.7km flyover was closed to all traffic

February 2005 Again closed for remedial works.

Nov 12, 2005 Reopened to light vehicles; Four out of six lanes

ACA came in and delayed the remedial works,

Dec 7, 2006 Reopened to all vehicles

Controversial issues: The Kepong Flyover was reported to be faulty because 31 of 33 pillars supporting the flyover were reported to have obvious cracks.

Historic Events of MRR2 that we should not forget.

In the Beginning ... that's where the project started:

Kuala Lumpur Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) route 28 was built by Malaysian Public Works Department (JKR) to connect neighborhoods near the boundary of Kuala Lumpur.

The entire highway system consists of Federal Route 28, Damansara-Puchong Expressway E11 (from Sri Damansara to Sunway Interchange) and Shah Alam Expressway E5 (from Sunway Interchange to Sri Petaling Interchange). MRR2 is generally referred to Route 28 since Route 28 occupies about two-thirds of the system.

Construction on this ring road would divided on 3 phase, This sections include Kepong-Gombak, Gombak-Ampang and Ampang-Sri Petaling.

The project was awarded to a consortium consisting of Sukmin Sdn Bhd, Bumihiway (M) Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Kontraktor Melayu (Wilayah) and the contract is to design and built the entire package 11 of MRR2 which covers a 4km stretch and cost RM238.8 million (the exacy contract sum is RM238,828,257.16). The contract period is 36 months and was completed in 34 months (May 1999 to March 2002). Controversial issues: The Kepong Flyover was reported to be faulty because 31 of 33 pillars supporting the flyover were reported to have obvious cracks. Public concern about the safety issues at Kepong Flyover was due to the risks faced by at least 4,300 motorists using the flyover at a time.
= = == = = =
The ACA came on its own initiative or under Samy's order?

The whole controversy expanded when eight officers from the ACA's Enigineering Forensic Unit, including a case investigation officer, started investigation into the problem though' nobody made a report. The team of investigators spent six hours examnining the cracks on pillars and beams of flyover along the MRR2.
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), apart from investigating possible fraud will also check whether it was built according to specifications. The ACA, which obtained documents relating to the design focused on the technical aspects of the flyover to check for any discrepancies in its construction. The eight-man team took samples from the damaged pillars and beams and sent them for composition and durability analysis. An ACA source said the analysis would show whether the concrete chunks were mixed and laid out according to the road construction industry's specifications.
“The investigations will focus on whether those involved cut corners to reap higher profits at the expense of safety and durability. The technical team will verify whether the builder had adhered to the specifications outlined in its building plan,” ACA spokesman Rosli Ali said. The investigation team led by Rosli Ali measured the length, width and depth of the flyover's pillars and beams.
Politicians wanted the Government to review the process of approving design and building contracts following the recent safety threat at the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2). Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said a briefing by Public Works Department (PWD) officials showed that the Government had only a minimum role in supervising the project.
Bentong MP Liow Tiong Lai said there was an urgent need to study the awarding of design and building contracts.
The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) later gave the green light for the Public Works Department to continue with the remedial work.

Samy Vellu said the department was asked to complete the repairs within the three-month stipulated period. “The priority now is to ensure that the MRR2 is safe for use.” Repair work on MRR2 was halted for the ACA to carry out investigations.

= = = == = == =

Media Statement; by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): In the midst of the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has reached a new Olympian height of arrogance and contempt for accountability, transparency and good governance and presented Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with the first leadership crisis whether the Prime Minister could get his Cabinet Ministers to honour his pledge of an open, efficient and trustworthy government which is prepared to hear the truth from the people.

Yesterday, Samy Vellu clearly administered a public rebuke to the Transport Minister, Datuk Chan Kong Choy when he told the press that he alone was qualified to talk and handle queries about the closure of the RM238 million Middle Ring Road Two (MRR2) Package 11 and the Kepong flyover cracks scandal, declaring: “You should take what comes from only my mouth. In this country today, only the Minister of Works knows what has to be done there (MRR2) and what is happening in this ministry”. The implications of Samy Vellu’s outburst was quite obvious, that Chan Kong Choy was talking poppycock when the Transport Minister said on Monday that the Public Works Department (PWD) would be able to finish the repair works on the MRR2 Kepong flyover within six weeks.

But it is the other implications of Samy Vellu’s arrogant outburst which are most disturbing and even scarifying – firstly, that all the professionals in the PWD and the Works Ministry do not have a true and complete picture of the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks scandal and are not competent to handle it, despite the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracking within two years of its completion resulting in its closure when it should be able to last for 50 years without any structural problems; and secondly, that he is not beholden to the Prime Minister’s general election pledge of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, transparent and people-oriented government prepared to hear the truth from the people as he need not be accountable at all to the Malaysian people for the RM238 million MRR2 scandal.

Why is Samy Vellu so insistent in gagging professionals both from PWD and outside from giving their expert opinions as to the causes for the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks? Is this because there are professional expert opinions, both inside the PWD and outside, that the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks point to design flaw, a possibility which Samy Vellu had publicly dismissed with the threat of defamation proceedings? What has continued to amaze and confound Malaysians is how Samy Vellu could be so confident that the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks could be repaired within three months and at a cost of RM20 million, when he claimed that the authorities have yet to determine the cause for the cracks while denying the possibility of design fault.

Is this a new achievement of “Malaysia Boleh” where a three-month RM20 million repair programme could be formulated without knowing the causes of the flyover cracks? When I sent an urgent fax to Abdullah yesterday, I sought to impress on him that the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks scandal does not just concern the PWD or the Works Ministry but is a major test for his nine-month premiership on its commitment to accountability, transparency and good governance. I did not realize that it has become a crisis of his premiership as to whether he could impose his leadership on his Cabinet Ministers. Is he a leader in the Cabinet or is he leading no one? I urge Abdullah to assert and demonstrate his leadership of the Cabinet by sending out two clear and unmistakable messages, firstly, that while the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is fully empowered to investigate into the corruption aspect of the RM238 million MRR2 project, he would not countenance any cover-up or avoidance of the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance by any of his Ministers through the continued denial of all available information to the public about the MRR2 Kepong flyover cracks, directing the immediate publication of the two consultant reports, one by the Australian consultant engaged by the contractors and the other by the German consultant engaged by the PWD.

Secondly, that he would not countenance any delay in ending the nightmarish traffic gridlock faced by tens of thousands of people in the affected area by ensuring that the MRR2 Kepong flyover is immediately repaired so that it could be safely used in the shortest possible time. If the only way Abdullah could assert his leadership of the Cabinet and “walk the talk” of his general election pledge of accountability, transparency and good governance is to suspend or dismiss Samy Vellu as the Works Minister because of his Olympian contempt and arrogance, he should not hesitate to begin a belated Cabinet clean-up.

= = = = =
from Sun

MRR2: Cracks due to design flaw and improper anchorage of crossbeams
B. Suresh Ram

KUALA LUMPUR: Cracks in the pillars of the Kepong flyover of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) were due to a design flaw and the improper anchorage of the crossbeams on the concrete columns. This was the verdict of Halcrow Group Ltd, the British consultant appointed to investigate the defects that had caused the closure of the flyover since Aug 9. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who disclosed the findings in a press conference in Parliament lobby on Thursday, said: "The anchoring was not done properly which was the cause of all these problems. The design also did not indicate the proper anchorage of the beams and the columns." Halcrow's report was prepared by its bridge engineering director Roger J.Buckby and submitted to the ministry on Wednesday. The report was supposed to be the "decider" as the foreign consultants employed by the contractor and the Public Works Department after the cracks were detected each gave different verdict as to the safety of the flyover.

Samy Vellu said the T-shape pillars and their crossbeams need to be strengthened before the stretch is re-opened to traffic. "They are still checking to see what went wrong with the design," he added. Samy Vellu read out a portion of the Halcrow report: "The main cause of excessive cracking in the crosshead to the T-shaped pier is a deficiency in the design and the anchorage of the columns reinforced into the crosshead. "There is also a deficiency in the design of the transverse reinforcement in the top of the crossheads to resist splitting forces between bearings. "The horizontal cracking in the crosshead directly above the columns is a direct result of the inadequate anchorage of the column bars into the crosshead."

Samy Vellu said he had directed PWD director-general Datuk Zaini Omar to study the report together with Halcrow officials. "We have asked Halcrow to prepare a detailed report, including the rehabilitation/remedial work that needs to be done within a month."

He could not give a time-frame when remedial work can be completed as it will depend on the consultant recommendations. On his previous statement that it would take three months to complete remedial work but would take longer due to the Anti-Corruption Agency probe, Samy said the delay was not due to the probe, but because the ministry has to take into account several factors in the proper execution of the job. "Time is not the essence, but the safety of the public is more important than the time to do the job. We don't want to hurry the job and give the bridge to the people and it collapses," Samy Vellu said.

He would not be drawn into apportioning responsibility for the faults, and who should pay for it, adding that the government would pay for it first. He said the RM20 million repair bill he mentioned earlier was only an estimate but added that it would not exceed this amount. "We can ask the contractor to pay, but if the contractor says he is not interested in doing the job for the lack of funds, then how? Do we have to wait until it obtains the funds? It can't be, as the work has to resume," he said. Samy Vellu said once the remedial work design and other associated matters are ready, he will ask the government for an allocation for repair. 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. He said the three consultants involved have yet to bill the Ministry.

Mounsell, Sharma and Zakaria declined comments when contacted on Thursday.

= = = =Other related background reading from the SUN

= = = ==

See also related previous post below:

MORE PICS- Protest MEMO over SAMY VELLU’S Executive interference of Independence Attorney-General; OSA ABUSE: PROTECT Interests of TOLLED companies

and the possible shocking overinflated SMART Storm project with a Cool 1 Billion profit at

SMART Tunnel NOT So SMART After ALL; COST Expensively MARK UP? (by that SAME LDP Toll Builder) and SMART MAY Not be Able to Prevent Floods If Network of Drains and Rivers are Clogged with Rubbish.





2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can no one be responsible?
And we are talking about JKR, our country's engineers, and the Minister himself cannot determine who is responsible!!
Use all of taxpayers money to cover their own mistakes!
WTF man! like that oso can ah?

I propose to build your house.
You agree to pay me 238 Million
Your house has 31 pillars.
Then one of your COMPETENT Engineering friend points out a serious mistake.
I say I don't know woh! Although I design and build but not my problem, because I don't know why water is seeping in and causing serious cracks on it.
Now you must pay me 70 million to repair it. Oh, By the way, only 18 pillars affected, but for good measure, I will repair all of it.
and you MUST HAVE confidence that I can do the job. OK, maybe not me but someone else. Why, because you engaged some British people to check and find out about my problem, and they agree that these works must be done. Never mind you paid me 238 million, just pay another 70 million to salvage this project of yours.
Well done, good choice in appointing me as your contractor...now who else wants to build a mansion?

12:19 PM  
Blogger Chee Meng said...

Either we have some stupid, stupid people in government or some corrupt, corrupt people

5:22 PM  

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