Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MORE PICS – SHODDY Work - Save LABOUR, MATERIAL More PROFITS Standards; City HALL KL, Can’t Install Sign Post; Mix Up Jln Setapak with Jln Pahang

ABOVE & BELOW: The impressive RM270 million New High Court Complex in Jalan Duta which began operation on Thurs 3rd May 2007

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ABOVE: Samy starting his story ... gesturing with his index finger and thumb.. "the ceiling soft boards are so thin, they cannot carry the weight of the down lights. The contractors fixed these lights on TOP of these false ceiling which is for insulation only...

UPDATE: 5th May 2007

Samy Vellu announced that there is NO structural damage to the High Court Buildings. The shoddy defect identified is that the ceiling made of soft boards which are NOT meant to fix lightings. The down lights are fixed onto this ceiling which served only for air-condition purposes and cannot carry the weight so many of the down lights.

ABOVE: The missing down light; only the "round hole" is showing. By right these down light should be suspended properly on the ACTUAL ceiling

This is another clear-cut example of the sub-contractors applying the “Save Labour, Save Time & Save Materials” concept to make more profits. If they had to do the job properly, it would take them a much longer time and would be more costly to them. They took the risk and part of the ceiling collapsed and the contractor Johawaki.. BUT will they redo the job and make further loss. They might be better to abscond and sacrifice the deposit retained by the Ministry. The Ministry using these insufficient funds would need additional money and the TAXPAYERS are the eventual ones who would suffer by all these shoddy work. The other problem is the cracks on the walls. These are minor ones and Samy explained them off as “expansion” cracks when plastering are done on walls without leaving expansion gaps. Again to save time and make more profits. All these bloodied greedy supervisors are corrupted and just blindly closing “one –eye” approving such jobs and certifying them for payments.

May 04, 2007 18:45 PM

No Structural Damage To Buildings, Says Samy Vellu
KANGAR, May 4 (Bernama) -- There was no structural damage to the new Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in Jalan Duta where the ceiling of one of its High Courts was reported to have collapsed, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. "There were, however, two errors found in the construction -- the first was that the ceiling made of soft board could not withstand the weight of the lightings fixed to it, and the second, the wall was plastered without leaving space for extension joint."

ABOVE & BELOW: These cracks appearing at the walls in the High Court Complex can be easily made to "disappear" by Mr FixIt Samy Vellu

ABOVE: and Samy continue his story telling .. "there should be a gap between adjacent plasters" to take care of the expansion illustraing with his 2 hands

Samy Vellu said he had written to the contractor (Johawaki), asking the company to repair any damage at the buildings as soon as possible. He said there was a defect liability period of between six months and two years for every building and if the contractor refused to carry out the repair, the Public Works Department (PWD) which held a retention fund for the project, would use the money to repair the fault," he told reporters after opening the 61st Perlis MIC Conventin at Dewan Warisan here. Samy Vellu, who is also MIC president, said he would submit a proposal to the Cabinet on Wednesday on the PWD's request for full powers to monitor and inspect the construction of all government buildings, especially those built by contractors appointed by other ministries, to ensure quality workmanship. "I have gathered all the experts in the field to discuss the matter. If possible, we want special powers for the PWD to inspect and give suggestions on the construction of every government building," he said. He criticised those who were impatient for buildings to be completed, saying that construction could not be done quickly
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May 04, 2007 21:35 PM
Contractors Association Asks Government To Adopt Open Tender System
PENANG, May 4 (Bernama) -- The government has been asked to adopt the open tender system in awarding its projects throughout the country. Penang Master Builders and Building Material Dealers Association president Choong Khuat Seng said the system should cover all classes of contractors, with those near the project sites should be given priority.

"We used to get government projects in the 1980s and 1990s but the government stopped the open tender system and switched to the direct appointment method, making it difficult for contractors to get government contracts," he told reporters here today. Choong further said the government should not control the prices of building materials if it wanted many contractors to bid for contracts. If the prices were not controlled, the contractors could compete by offering low prices, he said.

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ABOVE: Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin

May 01, 2007 20:28 PM;

Work To Repair Collapsed Ceiling At Ministry's Hall To Take Two Months

JOHOR BAHARU, May 1 (Bernama) -- It may take from one to two months to repair the collapsed ceiling of the multipurpose hall of the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry in Putrajaya, Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin said here today. He said the repair work would force the ministry's monthly assembly to be held elsewhere. "On the whole, the repair work will not affect the work routine of the staff as the ministry's offices are not affected," he said after presenting Bank Rakyat's tithe to the Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituency, here. The ceiling of the hall had collapsed on Saturday morning after water leaked when a pipe connected to sprinklers in the hall burst. Mohamad Khaled said the ministry staff would cooperate with Putrajaya Holdings and the Public Works Department in their investigation of the ceiling collapse.

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It is pathetic to see a Minister barking up a wrong tree and blame the lack of comprehensive maintenance culture for the failures of the many building in Putrajaya. Even the PM was misled into calling for immediate inspection of all such building. This will be a costly affair as there are kilometers and kilometers of piping and electrical wirings to inspect. And most of these are high up in the most difficult to access areas of a building. If he has any technical knowledge, he would know that if things are designed to a certain standard, it should withstand the safety factor and would NOT fail (within a short period of time) PROVIDED the construction or installation is done according to the specifications stipulated in the design using the correct specified materials. The deterioration of the standards is due mainly to greed; by short changing in Labor, & Materials to get the bottom line – more profits in the name of productivity. The core problem is the contractor with shoddy work can get away with it, repeat the same mistakes and are not penalized. Look at the bloodied MMR2 that cost the taxpayers millions of money in repairs in the end. The Works Minister is bending backwards to protect such guys. And when the technically knowledgeable opened their mouths to give the correct opinions they are told to “shut up” by the Minister. The rot has set in and it is difficult to reverse the culture. Everything in this country done by the government is at high cost and is bleeding everyone dry. They want to squeeze out your last drop of blood and then we can all perish.

It is happening at every level, from the council, to the City hall and Ministry level. If they cannot even install a Road sign correctly what hope we have for these more complex building structures where the problems would be multiplied hundreds of times.

This fallen NO PARKING sign was found recently in the grass area of the SheLLABOVE & BELOW: A shoddy example of work done to erect a simple sign post. How can they just place cement ON TOP of the dug hole above the pipe end? Where is the grip at the bottom? Without routine maintenance, this job would fail in no time after some rains. Of course this shoddy work Save Labour, Save time, Save Materials (less cement for a bigger hole) and get more profits. This is the prevailing mentality
Petrol Station in Taman, Midah (before Makro). Look at how they install the sign post. A round hole is dug to insert the round end of the post and cement mixture is placed ON TOP surrounding the pipe end. What specification and what instruction is DBKL (City Hall KL) giving to its contractor to fix this signage? Surely a larger hole should have been dug with cement mixture poured in and then the pipe inserted for anchorage. If the British standards are used, a square base ideally would be attached at the pipe end to give better positioning. This is a classic example of shoddy work done on a supposedly simple job of fixing a post - Save Time, Save Labour & Materials for the installer who can pocket more profits. And this culture is repeated across the contracting business when works are sub out, the main con will take the bite and the sub-con take the crumbs and for them to make some profits they have to resort to this Malaysian Standards – Save Labour (time) & save Materials.

ABOVE: This Road Sign is INCORRECTLY placed right in the middle of Jalan Pahang (in front of the BP station) just before turning into Taman Tasik Lake Titiwangsa (BELOW) ; Are the people in DBKL "sleeping on their job")? They cannot even give proper instruction & location of this signage. Jalan Setapak is the start of Jln Gombak (AFTER the Setapak Police Station)

And the officers on the job are practically sleeping on them - there know not what they do and leave it entirely to the contractors to decide. How can they put up this Jalan Setapak road sign right in the middle of Jalan Pahang (which has long existed); to be precise in front the BP station at the junction turning into the eye of Malaysia (closing soon, for lack of business). Most of the time contract officers are working in cohorts with the suppliers who seem to dictate the terms and conditions and would assume al the time they are doing the right thing.

It is interesting to note the incidents involve burst pipes in the early hours of the morning. It would suggest that overnight the water pressure is building up when the building is left unused for water. And when the pressure builds up, there is a phenomenon called “water hammering” whereby there is vibration along the pipelines and when the weakest joint or connection give way, burst can result. . A simple solution is to install pressure regulating valves to maintain a lower supply pressure during the nights.
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Wednesday May 2, 2007

Shoddy work could be tip of iceberg, says Navaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent collapse at three new government buildings is symptomatic of the state of deterioration in standards, quality, productivity and efficiency in the country, said Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam. “There’s too much concern to make a quick buck and too little attention given to professionalism. This could be the tip of the iceberg,” said the Transparency International Malaysia president. He believed the problem was not going to end until something was done to address the root causes and make those responsible pay. “If a contractor is careless and indifferent in his work but continues to be rewarded by getting contracts and making more and more profit for shoddy work, why should he change? He does not pay the price for it.

That’s human nature. “But if you penalise him, deny him the contract and blacklist him – then they (contractors) will realise (they can’t get away with it). “The authorities should look at this more seriously and not talk more but do more,” he told reporters yesterday after delivering his address at the Towards Achieving Quality in the Civil Service seminar. He said if necessary new legislation should be introduced. Three weeks ago, a burst pipe at the new Immigration Department Headquarters in Putrajaya brought its operations to a halt. Then on Saturday, chunks of the plaster ceiling at the multi-purpose hall at the Entrepreneurial Development and Co-operative Ministry collapsed. The third incident was at the new Jalan Duta Court Complex, where two parts of a ceiling collapsed.

Navaratnam said these couldn’t be seen to be isolated or mere coincidences. “These are big projects. It’s like a disease. If you don’t see you’ve got a problem, then you won’t solve it. I’m not being pessimistic, but realistic and pragmatic,” he added. Navaratnam welcomed the Prime Minister’s directive for all government buildings to be checked for defects. “We should do something before it is too late. It reflects the quality of our workmanship and professional and ethics today. This has obviously been going on before. It isn’t as if it has suddenly changed,” he said. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu also welcomed Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s call for the Public Works Department to inspect all government buildings nationwide. “I respect the PM’s statement and will discuss the matter in the Cabinet meeting this week,” he added.

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April 29, 2007 17:17 PM

Khaled Seeks Review Of Building Maintenance Contracts

PUTRAJAYA, April 29 (Bernama) -- Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin today proposed that the Public Works Department (JKR) review the contracts for maintenance of buildings in Putrajaya to ensure comprehensive maintenance, including of concealed sections. He said the JKR should determine whether the existing normal maintenance was sufficient or there was a need to have comprehensive maintenance. "This is Putrajaya, the seat of the government's administration. By right, such an incident should not have occurred," he said after a visit to the multipurpose hall of the ministry here where the plaster ceiling collapsed yesterday after pipes carrying water to sprinklers had sprung a leak.

ABOVE: The flooded part of the entrance to the car park and (BELOW) the Minister inspecting the damage

No one was injured in the 7.10 am incident as it was not a working day yesterday. Khaled said he wanted to know why the routine maintenance work at the sophisticated building was unable to detect the faulty pipes. He also said that Putrajaya Holdings, the lead developer of Putrajaya, would conduct an investigation to determine whether a burst pipe of the sprinkler system was the cause and why it had happened. Khaled had told reporters in JOHOR BAHARU earlier in the day that the collapse of the hall's ceiling as well as two other incidents in Putrajaya reflected on the poor culture of maintenance in the country. "Maintenance in the country is not conducted satisfactorily," he had said, also in reference to a burst pipe that flooded seven floors of the Immigration Department headquarters on April 11 and a landslide that forced the evacuation of government quarters at Apartment 9 Phase 11 on March 22. Khaled said such incidents would have an adverse impact on the work quality of civil servants in Putrajaya as they would be fearful of similar occurrences at their own workplace.

ABOVE & BELOW: The exposed part after the ceiling collapsed. These type of ceiling are flimsy "false ceiling" suspended by wires to cover up the all the pipings and wirings.

Meanwhile, in PUTRAJAYA, Putrajaya Holdings Chief Executive Officer Azlan Abdul Karim said the company has put into fifth gear the work of checking all buildings developed by it in the administrative capital.

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April 28, 2007 21:26 PM

Ceiling Collapses At Ministry's Multipurpose Hall

PUTRAJAYA, April 28 (Bernama) -- The ceiling of the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry's multipurpose hall collapsed here today, 17 days after a burst pipe disrupted operations at the Immigration Department headquarters. Putrajaya Police chief Acting Supt Abdul Razak Abdul Majid said the incident happened when a water sprinkler pipe burst, causing water to overflow on the ceiling which led to its subsequent collapse.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department was investigating the actual cause of the incident which destroyed the hall's carpeting. Abdul Razak said no one was injured in the ceiling collapse which was first spotted by security guards. However, it was not clear when the sprinkler pipe burst. The hall, located at the podium block of the 15-storey building, can accommodate up to 800 people. As at 6pm, workers were still cleaning up the place. When contacted, the minister concerned, Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, said that he had been informed of the episode and was awaiting a full report. The ministry moved to Putrajaya in early 2005 from its previous location at Medan Mara in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur. This was the third major incident to have occurred in Putrajaya this year following the March 22 landslide which forced the evacuation of residents at the nearby government quarters and the April 11 pipe burst at the Immigration headquarters.

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April 30, 2007 22:21 PM
PWD Probes Reason For Collapse Of Part Of Ceiling At
KL Court

ABOVE & BELOW: The new court Complex in Jalan Duta

SHAH ALAM, April 30 (Bernama) -- Another two pieces of the ceiling measuring four feet by four feet at one of the Civil Courts at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in Jalan Duta collapsed this morning. The incident that occurred about 10.30 this morning was confirmed by Works Minister Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu today. He said, however, the incident was not serious and his ministry would investigate the matter to determine the actual cause for the collapse. "We have sent a team of PWD engineers to the building to investigate the problem. The downlight also came down as it could not withstand the weight of the ceiling," he said at a press conference after officiating the Selangor MIC Convention, here today.

ABOVE: The sprinkler piping burst and the weight of water bring down the ceiling. BELOW:Part of the fallen ceiling. And the contractor Johawaki and the Director is Datuk Johari Mat

Samy Vellu said the incident was a minor one and not serious. No one was reported injured as the courtroom had not started its sittings yet. The new Kuala Lumpur Court Complex costing RM270 million was built in 2002 on a 12-hectare site in Jalan Duta and has 77 courtrooms comprising 28 courtrooms for the High Court, 21 for the Sessions Court, 26 for the Magistrate's Court and two courtrooms for the Family Court. Upon receiving information on the incident this morning, media representatives had rushed to the location but were told to wait at the gate as they were not allowed to enter the compound by the management of the court.

Initially, reporters were made to understand that a section of the cafeteria had collapsed, but this was eventually denied by the management and the media had to wait for almost three hours.The Court Complex will begin operations on Thursday.When asked to comment on the collapse of the ceiling at the Multipurpose Hall of the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives after the sprinkler pipe on the ceiling burst about 7am on Saturday, Samy Vellu had said it had nothing to do with his ministry.

"It is under the management of Putrajaya Holdings. We can't make any comment on the matter... we look after our own work only," he said. He said in order to avoid any misunderstanding following the incident, he would instruct the PWD to list all buildings located in Putrajaya under the ministry's maintenance to make it easier for action to be taken.

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April 30, 2007 20:33 PM

Abdullah Orders Immediate Inspection Of All Govt Buildings

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today ordered an immediate inspection of all government buildings following the recent collapse of the ceiling at three government buildings, including the latest at the courts complex in Jalan Duta here today. The prime minister, who said he was angry and embarrassed, asked the Public Works Department (JKR) to conduct the checks. "I am angry... I am embarrassed. Those (the earlier two) were recent incidents, and now again," he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council, here. Abdullah said tough action would be taken if it was found that the latest incident was the result of negligence on the part of the contractor. "Is the contractor at fault this time for not having done the job properly? If it is the same contractor, action must be taken," he said. In the 10.30 am incident, two pieces of the ceiling measuring four feet by four feet collapsed due to the weight of downlights fastened to the ceiling without any other support in one of the courtrooms of the complex. Abdullah also said that he had repeatedly emphasised the importance of maintenance of buildings. "Maintenance is very important. I have always emphasised maintenance... maintenance... maintenance. But people... so long as nothing happens, so long as people are safe... in fact, there must be ongoing maintenance so that we know where the faults are," he said. The incidents of ceiling collapse began with the first on April 11 when a faulty water pipe connection gave way and caused floods on seven floors of the Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya.

The second incident occurred at the multipurpose hall of the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry, also in Putrajaya, where the plaster ceiling collapsed last Saturday after pipes carrying water to sprinklers sprang a leak.


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