Friday, May 04, 2007

ABUSIVE & OUTRAGEOUS Lawsuit –US67 Million for MISSING Pants; Plaintaiff- A Lawyer & Judge; Disbar Him & Reappointment as Administrative Law Judge


MORE PICS – Raid on BROTHELS in Bukit Bintang; 18 Local Girls, 12 China Dolls & 26 Customers Detained, Questioned & Investigated on Substance Abuse

Update: And a 56s Video Clip on the Raid

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Anyone reading this abusive & outrageous lawsuit would be shocked to such ridiculous demands from a human being on another? What is he trying to show off? His skills and deep knowledge of the laws or is he clowning to reveal his true nature as a human being, devoid of any feelings for others and looking at his own importance and making a fool of himself in the process.

The following opinion sums it all about the US legal system

“That this case has not been thrown out of court as an act of pure insanity and bullying is an indictment of the entire US legal system. The plaintiff should be disbarred, thrown off the bench, fined a serious amount of money to be paid to the defendants, and sent to a mental institution for evaluation (indeed perhaps the entire system should be sent to a mental institution). Too many lawyers see the legal system as their own personal ATM and grievance chamber. This case will become the new poster-child for tort reform.”

"I have followed this story since reading about it a few weeks ago. This judge is abusing the system, and making a mockery of the American judicial process. He should be disbarred, removed from his position as a judge, and forced to pay the attorneys fees of the defendants. Having said that, I am also saddened to see numerous comments from readers who see this lawsuit as an example of why our legal system is "broken." Being an attorney for nearly 15 years, I would emphatically say that this type of lawsuit is very uncommon (thus the reason we are reading about it here). We live in a great country, and despite some loose cannons, we have the best legal system in the world. It is a system that gives everyone a voice--even those who seek to abuse that privilege. Yes, that opens the doors to idiots like Roy Pearson, who make a mockery of what we hold so dear, but that is a price we pay for the freedom to have our voice heard. Before you write the system off as being "broken," please allow for the possibility (or even certainty) that Judge Pearson will not only lose his lawsuit, but will also likely suffer professional consequences as well. Before this is over, we may well look at this case as an example of the system doing exactly what it should do: let Judge Pearson be heard, deny him his outrageous demands, and then make him compensate the unfortunate defendants for what he put them through."

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the Original Story from Washing Post

Lawyer's Price For Missing Pants: $65 Million

By Marc Fisher; Thursday, April 26, 2007; Page B01

When the neighborhood dry cleaner misplaced Roy Pearson's pants, he took action. He complained. He demanded compensation. And then he sued. Man, did he sue. Two years, thousands of pages of legal documents and many hundreds of hours of investigative work later, Pearson is seeking to make Custom Cleaners pay -- would you believe more than the payroll of the entire Washington Nationals roster? He says he deserves millions for the damages he suffered by not getting his pants back, for his litigation costs, for "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort," for the value of the time he has spent on the lawsuit, for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years and for a replacement suit, according to court papers. Pearson is demanding $65,462,500.

ABOVE: Jin Nam Chung and Ki Chung stand inside of their dry cleaning business, Custom Cleaners, in Washington on Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The original alteration work on the pants cost $10.50. By the way, Pearson is a lawyer. Okay, you probably figured that. But get this: He's a judge, too -- an administrative law judge for the District of Columbia. I'm telling you, they need to start selling tickets down at the courthouse. Oh, where to start: How about the car? Why should Ki, Jin and Soo Chung -- the family that owns Custom Cleaners on Bladensburg Road NE in the District's Fort Lincoln section -- pay Pearson $15,000 so he can rent a car every weekend for 10 years? The plaintiff, who says he has devoted more than 1,000 hours to represent himself in this battle, says that as a result of poor service at Custom, he must find another cleaner. And because Pearson does not own a car, he says he will have to rent one to get his clothes taken care of.

Back to the beginning. In 2002, Custom lost a pair of pants that Pearson had put in for cleaning. One week after the error was discovered, Custom gave Pearson a check for $150 for new pants. A few days later, the Chungs, Korean immigrants who live in Virginia and own three D.C. cleaners, told Pearson that he was no longer welcome at their store. That dispute was eventually put aside, and Pearson continued to use the company. Move ahead to 2005, when Pearson got a new job as a judge. He needed to wear a suit to work every day. He dug out his five Hickey Freeman suits and found them to be "uncomfortably tight." He asked Custom to let the waists out two or three inches. Worried that he might be up against his Visa card limit, he took the suits in for alterations one or two at a time. According to a statement filed by both parties in the lawsuit, Pearson dropped off one pair of pants May 3 so he could wear them to his new job May 6.

ABOVE: The disputed pants

But on May 5, the pants weren't ready. Soo Chung promised them for early the next morning, but when Pearson arrived, the pants weren't there. At this point, I should let you in on the subject of hundreds of pages of legal wrangling. Custom Cleaners at that time had two big signs on its walls. One said "Satisfaction Guaranteed," and the other said, "Same Day Service." This, he says, amounts to fraud, negligence and a scam. A week after that routine mishap -- pants go astray all the time at cleaners -- Soo Chung came up with gray trousers that she said were Pearson's. But when the judge said that he had dropped off pants with red and blue pinstripes, there was no joy in Fort Lincoln. Pearson's first letter to the Chungs sought $1,150 so he could buy a new suit. Two lawyers and many legal bills later, the Chungs offered Pearson $3,000, then $4,600 and, finally, says their attorney, Chris Manning, $12,000 to settle the case. But Pearson pushes on.

How does he get to $65 million?

The District's consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 per violation per day. Pearson started multiplying: 12 violations over 1,200 days, times three defendants. A pant leg here, a pant leg there, and soon, you're talking $65 million. The case, set for trial in June, is on its second judge. The Chungs have removed the signs upon which Pearson's case rests. "This case shocks me on a daily basis," Manning says. "Pearson has a lot of time on his hands, and the Chungs have been abused in a ghastly way. It's going to cost them tens of thousands to defend this case."

A judge in the case has admonished Pearson about his take-no-prisoners tactics. When Pearson sought to broaden the case to try to prove violations of consumer protection laws on behalf of all District residents, D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz said that "the court has significant concerns that the plaintiff is acting in bad faith" because of "the breathtaking magnitude of the expansion he seeks." Pearson has put the Chungs and their attorneys to work answering long lists of questions, such as this: "Please identify by name, full address and telephone number, all cleaners known to you on May 1, 2005 in the District of Columbia, the United States and the world that advertise 'SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.' " In the world; The answer: "None." In a closet of a lawyer's office in downtown Washington, there is a pair of gray wool pants, waiting to be picked up by Roy Pearson. "We believe the pants are his," Manning says. "The tag matches his receipt."

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Last updated May 3, 2007 3:55 a.m. PT
Judge sues cleaner for $65M over pants;

WASHINGTON -- The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital. For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants. Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning, who spoke on their behalf. "They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said.

"This has destroyed their lives." The lawsuit was filed by a District of Columbia administrative hearings judge, Roy Pearson, who has been representing himself in the case. Pearson did not return phone calls and e-mails Wednesday from The Associated Press requesting comment. According to court documents, the problem began in May 2005 when Pearson became a judge and brought several suits for alteration to Custom Cleaners in Northeast Washington, a place he patronized regularly despite previous disagreements with the Chungs. A pair of pants from one suit was not ready when he requested it two days later, and was deemed to be missing. Pearson asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit: more than $1,000. But a week later, the Chungs said the pants had been found and refused to pay. That's when Pearson decided to sue.

Manning said the cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson. First they offered $3,000, then $4,600, then $12,000. But Pearson wasn't satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants. Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, part of his lawsuit calls for $15,000 - the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business. "He's somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment," Manning said. But the bulk of the $65 million comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of D.C.'s consumer protection law, which fines violators $1,500 per violation, per day. According to court papers, Pearson added up 12 violations over 1,200 days, and then multiplied that by three defendants. Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs that Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service." Based on Pearson's dissatisfaction and the delay in getting back the pants, he claims the signs amount to fraud.

Pearson has appointed himself to represent all customers affected by such signs, though D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz, who will hear the June 11 trial, has said that this is a case about one plaintiff, and one pair of pants. Sherman Joyce, president of the American Tort Association, has written a letter to the group of men who will decide this week whether to renew Pearson's 10-year appointment. Joyce is asking them to reconsider. Chief Administrative Judge Tyrone Butler had no comment regarding Pearson's reappointment. The association, which tries to police the kind of abusive lawsuits that hurt small businesses, also has offered to buy Pearson the suit of his choice. And former National Labors Relations Board chief administrative law judge Melvin Welles wrote to The Washington Post to urge "any bar to which Mr. Pearson belongs to immediately disbar him and the District to remove him from his position as an administrative law judge." "There has been a significant groundswell of support for the Chungs," said Manning, adding that plans for a defense fund Web site are in the works.

To the Chungs and their attorney, one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is their claim that Pearson's gray pants were found a week after Pearson dropped them off in 2005. They've been hanging in Manning's office for more than a year. Pearson claims in court documents that his pants had blue and red pinstripes.
"They match his inseam measurements. The ticket on the pants match his receipt," Manning said.
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Biography; Roy L. Pearson, Jr.; Administrative Law Judge

Roy L. Pearson, Jr. began serving as an Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings on May 2, 2005. Before his appointment he served for two years as a contract hearing examiner for the DC Office of Police Complaints. Judge Pearson was an attorney with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program (“NLSP”) from July 1978 through July 2002; the last 13 years as the Assistant Director for Legal Operations. In the latter capacity Judge Pearson was responsible for training and supervising a legal and support staff of 20-60 persons in neighborhood offices throughout the District of Columbia. NLSP provides civil legal assistance to indigent residents of the District of Columbia. During his tenure with NLSP Judge Pearson obtained jury verdicts in excess of $1 million dollars in both the DC Superior Court and the US District Court for the District of Columbia. His landmark Superior Court verdict of $15.9 million for nine clients was settled, after partial reversal and remand, on confidential terms.

Judge Pearson has been active in the Washington, DC community for decades and has served as counsel or board member for such organizations as the Columbia Heights Youth Club, the Fort Lincoln Civic Association, Inc., Black Seeds, Inc., the Washington Council of Lawyers, and the DC chapter of the National Council of Black Lawyers.

Judge Pearson earned his undergraduate degree from Lake Forest College. He earned his JD from Northwestern University School of Law. After graduation, he was first a graduate teaching fellow, and then assistant director, of a clinical program at the Georgetown University School of Law. The clinical program provided legal research, policy analysis and drafting assistance to committees of the Council of the District of Columbia, to the Mayor, and to various District of Columbia agencies. Judge Pearson has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar since 1978, and of the US Supreme Court Bar since 1985.

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Sherman Joyce: Judge Pearson, we will buy you a new suit

WASHINGTON D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson Jr. is suing his dry cleaner — over a supposedly lost pair of pants — for more than $65 million. The pants were found long ago and are readily available to Pearson. What may become unavailable to him, unless he drops this wholly outrageous and abusive lawsuit, is a reputation as an ethical, high-integrity officer of the court.

Since my organization, the American Tort Reform Association, works to limit this kind of abusive litigation that so hinders small and large businesses alike, we’re offering to raise the necessary funds to buy Pearson a high-quality suit of his choosing if he’ll just do the right thing. But since our generous offer may not do the trick, ATRA also wrote Monday to the four men who will decide this week if Pearson will be reappointed to a 10-year term with a handsome salary at taxpayers’ expense. Our letter to Chief Administrative Law Judge Tyrone Butler and the three men who make up the Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges — Robert Rigsby, Henry Levine and Peter Wilner — read as follows:

Dear Judge Butler and Commissioners Rigsby, Levine and Wilner:
On behalf of the American Tort Reform Association, which works to combat lawsuit abuse, I urge you to carefully reconsider the reappointment of Roy Pearson Jr. to a 10-year term, scheduled to commence in three days on May 2. As you are almost surely aware by now, thanks to extensive local and national media coverage, Judge Pearson has chosen to exploit the District’s well-intentioned but loosely worded Consumer Protection and Procedures Act in suing a family-owned D.C. dry cleaner for more than $65 million — over a lost pair of suit pants. Though the pants have long since been found and made available to him, Judge Pearson has stubbornly continued to waste precious Superior Court resources in a clearly misguided effort to extort a hardworking family that provides a service to its community and tax revenue to the District government.

In a letter to the editor in today’s Washington Post, former National Labors Relations Board chief administrative law judge Melvin Welles urged “any bar to which Mr. Pearson belongs to immediately disbar him and the District to remove him from his position as an administrative law judge.” To those of us who carefully study the litigation industry’s growing abuse of consumer protection laws around the country (see ATRA general counsel Victor Schwartz’s recent article from Executive Counsel magazine, “Consumer Protection Acts Are a Springboard for Lawsuit Abuse,” enclosed) and to everyday D.C. taxpayers who collectively provide Pearson with a considerable salary, his persistence in this lawsuit raises serious question about his capacity to serve the city as a “fair, impartial, effective, and efficient” judge, as required by the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act.

If Pearson goes ahead with his lawsuit, any party who comes before him in future administrative hearings could understandably lack confidence in his judgment and judicial temperament. Furthermore, this case will become fodder for late-night comics, various members of Congress and other assorted critics of D.C. government if this case, scheduled for trial June 11, remains in the headlines. Judicial temperament is a critical characteristic of an outstanding jurist. Any individual who chooses to pursue a case such as Pearson’s, at a minimum, calls into question his or her’s. As you consider his reappointment, we strongly urge you to examine closely his judicial temperament and decide whether it is sufficient to serve the people of the District of Columbia properly as an administrative law judge.

Sherman Joyce is president of the American Tort Reform Association, based in Washington.

SAMY VELLU Miffed by PKR Claim – RM100 million for Ijok Increased 201 Votes Dares ANWAR To Contest With Him; NAJIB: NOT To Worry – SLIP in CHINESE Vot

MORE PICS – Raid on BROTHELS in Bukit Bintang; 18 Local Girls, 12 China Dolls & 26 Customers Detained, Questioned & Investigated on Substance Abuse
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Samy Vellu Challenges Anwar To Stand Against Him In General ElectionMay 03, 2007 23:13 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today dared Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to stand against him in the next general election. "We can fight in any constituency. He can come to my Sungai Siput constituency. I'm not scared," he told reporters after chairing the MIC central working committee meeting here. He said that PKR should accept the fact that MIC had won the recent Ijok by-election in Selangor by a bigger majority and asked the opposition party to accept its defeat. Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Ijok seat when its candidate, K. Parthiban, beat PKR's Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim by a 1,850-vote majority. Samy Vellu, who is Works Minister, promised that the BN would fulfil all its pledges to ensure the well-being of the people.

He said that MIC's highest leadership would visit Ijok once every two months to check on the welfare of the people there irrespective of race and religion. Samy Vellu also warned that he would close down any MIC branches which failed to carry out their duties in the run-up to the next general election. Any branch chiefs who failed to get the election machinery going would be replaced, he said, adding that the performance of elected representatives from the MIC would be closely monitored. MIC has 4,000 branches throughout the country, 19 state assembly seats and nine parliamentary seats. At a separate function, BN Youth chairman Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the movement would conduct a post-mortem of the Ijok polls to assess the level of support for the BN, especially among the Chinese, in preparation for the general election.

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Most Chinese still back Barisan Nasional, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no need for Barisan Nasional to be too alarmed by some Chinese votes going to the opposition during the recent Ijok by-election. Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this should not be taken out of proportion and made into a big issue. “Let us not forget the fact that the majority of the Chinese still support Barisan,” Najib, who is the Deputy Prime Minister, told reporters yesterday after opening the International Conference on Management of Information Pertaining to Health Crisis. He cited the Machap by-election of April 12 as an example, where 63% to 65% of the Chinese supported the ruling coalition against the DAP candidate. Barisan won the Chinese-majority Machap seat by a majority of 4,081 votes. In the Ijok mixed seat, Barisan won by 1,850 votes but Chinese votes dropped in areas like Pekan Ijok, Pekan Berjuntai Bestari (U), Pekan Berjuntai Bestari (S). MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said one of the factors for the swing in Ijok was certain statements made that had hurt the Chinese community. Najib however pointed out that Barisan had won the general election in 2004 with an “all- time high” and hence it was only to be expected for the numbers to slip a little bit for the Ijok by-election. “This does not mean we can’t recover from the position. I am confident we can. The Chinese are very practical people. They know whom to support when the time comes,” he added.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who was also at the function, said he did not believe there was a swing of Chinese votes because the decrease was “not all that much”. To a question on statements made at the Umno Youth assembly some months ago, which had caused unease among the Chinese and hence affected Chinese support for the coalition, he said this was not the case.

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Tuesday May 1, 2007

Probe into swing against BN in Ijok by-elections

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional will find out why there was a swing against the coalition in Chinese-majority areas in the Ijok by-election. Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said maybe there were reasons for it and possibly “things” that the Chinese voters were not happy about. “We do not know what but I think we will soon be able to find out. Our partners in Barisan – MCA especially and Gerakan to a certain extent – will be able to provide us with some information. There must be a reason of course,” he said after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday. Abdullah, who is Umno president, said the coalition would continue to talk, do their work and explain to the Chinese.

In the Ijok by-election on Saturday, Barisan candidate K. Parthiban defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Tan Sri Khalid Ibahim by a majority of 1,850 votes. Although this was an increased majority for Barisan, in Chinese areas like Pekan Berjuntai Bestari (S), Pekan Berjuntai Bestari (U) and Pekan Ijok, the Chinese voters seemed to have swung away from the ruling coalition. “Although we won by a bigger majority, we have decided to scrutinise whatever problems there are.

The results of all five by-elections will be studied and analysed. “This can be an important guide for us (to see) if there are messages (in there) for Barisan and Umno to improve their service to the people. We discussed our weaknesses so that we can improve,” he said. To a question, Abdullah said the trend showed that the Malay voters were clearly supporting Barisan. On a different matter, the Prime Minister said that on Aug 30, there would be a symbolic re-enactment of the lowering of Britain's Union Jack which would be replaced by the Jalur Jemilang at the stroke of midnight ushering in the 50th year of Malaysia's independence

Thursday, May 03, 2007

MORE PICS – FIERY END for 4 Family Relatives; Car Drive Shaft Broke and Crashed into a Bulldozer at KM262 N-S Expressway near Port Dickson Toll Plaza

MORE PICS – Raid on BROTHELS in Bukit Bintang; 18 Local Girls, 12 China Dolls & 26 Customers Detained, Questioned & Investigated on Substance Abuse

Groom-to-be dies in fiery crash

ABOVE: The initial impact against the parked tractor ignited the car and burst into flame which can be seen BELOW, is concentrated at the back of car where the fuel tank is located

SEREMBAN: A trip to distribute wedding invitation cards to friends in Gemas ended tragically for a groom-to-be B. Kathiswaran and three family members died in a fiery accident at Km262 of the North-South Expressway yesterday.

ABOVE: The fire from the rear is slowly spreading to the front part (BELOW)

In the 6.40pm accident near the Port Dickson toll plaza, Kathiswaran, 23, who was driving and his relatives K. Sundar, 23, B. Raja, 21, and Anbaraj, 23, died after the car burst into flames after hitting a bulldozer parked by the side of the road.

ABOVE & BELOW: The lone and futile attempt to douse out the flame using a small fire extinguisher

The bulldozer was being used in a highway upgrading project. Sundar’s brother, Mageswaran, 25, who was sitting in the left passenger seat, survived after he was thrown out of the car following the collision.

ABOVE: The noisy arrival of the fire fighting engine brought cheers to the crowd which saw them putting out the blaze BELOW

"We were on our way back to Kuala Lumpur from Gemas when the car’s drive-shaft broke and Kathiswaran lost control of the vehicle," he said when met at the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital where he was treated for minor burns on the head and left hand.

ABOVE: another smaller supporting fir fighting unit and BELOW: What is left of the burnt out cat

Mageswaran said he tried to save the victims but the fire spread too quickly. "All I can remember is hearing them screaming for help."

ABOVE: the sole survival Mageswaran, recounting the horror to a rescue personnel

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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