Archive for February 23rd, 2007

14 RM70,000 Ops Sikap XII watchtowers worth only half or less?

Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has denied the allegation of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan that five of the 14 traffic watchtowers are unsafe for use — with one each in Selangor, Penang, Perak, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.

Sin Chew Daily reported with photograph on Thursday that the watchtower built at Tampin-Gemas Road 16km was so fragile and unsafe that it had been abandoned for the safety of the traffic policemen on duty.

It was first reported on 12th February 2007 (with photograph) that 14 manned watchtowers will be built in accident-prone stretches of federal, state and municipal roads for use durings Ops Sikap 12.

Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy had announced that the Cabinet had approved close to RM1 million to build the first 14 watchtowers in Peninsular Malaysia on roads where nine out of every 10 fatal accidents occur, and that each tower is expected to cost the Public Works Department about RM70,000.

On the same day, I received the following SMS from someone from the construction industry:

“Today’s NST page 8 prime news says 14 watch towers to cost government RM70k each is grossly over-priced. “

When I SMSed back to ask what would be the proper price range for such watchtowers, back came the reply:

“25 — 30k with transport and installation costing 5k a piece.” Read the rest of this entry »


Snoop squads – remove Rosol as Terengganu Exco and Islam Hadhari Committe Chairman

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi went out of his way during his visit to Indonesia to “shoot down” a move by the Terengganu state government to set up a “snoop squad” or “informers” who would be rewarded for reporting “immoral activities”.

Stating his disapproval of such moves by religious authorities, Abdullah told them to stop policing the morals of Muslims and concentrate on tacking various urgent issues facing them.

The issue at stake is not so much about Terengganu state government attempting to set up a moral “snoop squad” or “informers”, but the credibility and legitimacy of the Prime Minister’s authority.

Why there is yet another attempt at moral policing, and this time under the auspices of the Terengganu Islam Hadhari Committee, despite the previous attempts in Malacca and Selangor to have either volunteer “snoop squads” or Mat Skodeng which were disbanded after the federal government had made known its disapproval as well as the international furore following the scandalous khalwat raid of an elderly American couple in Langkawi in Kedah?

From the statements given by the Terengganu Islam Hadhari Committee chairman, Datuk Rosol Wahid in the past two days, it is clear that the Terengganu state government or at least Rosol is not very convinced by Abdullah’s directive or reasons. Read the rest of this entry »