Archive for May 2nd, 2007

Tip of iceberg? More disastrous public building mishaps to come?

Transparency International Malaysia President Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam has said that the recent collapse at three new government buildings is symptomatic of the state of deterioration in standards, quality, productivity and efficiency in the country.

He said that there’s too much concern to make a quick buck and too little attention given to professionalism and warned that this could be “tip of the iceberg”.

Ramon is eminently qualified to pass such a stricture on the public service delivery system as he was one of the last top non-Malay civil servants, at a time when the Malaysian public service was still identified with quality and world-class standards.

The question posed by Ramon is uppermost in the minds of Malaysians — whether the trio of mishaps of three brand new government buildings in the past three weeks are mere “tip of the iceberg” which portend even more disastrous mishaps in the near future with grave consequences to life, limb and property?

In actual fact, there had been quite a catalogue of construction mishaps in the past three months, as apart from the recent trio – the flooding of the seven-floor Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya because of plumbing failure, the collapse of a ceiling at the Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Ministry in Putrajaya and the ceiling collapse in a secretary’s room at the world’s largest court complex at the Jalan Duta court complex — other mishaps involving brand-new government buildings and public projects or those under construction included the Parliament (ceiling collapse as a result of pipe leakage), Matrade Building, MRR2, fungus in new hospitals, the navy complex fiasco, smart lab fiasco, etc.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for the Public Works Department to inspect all government buildings nationwide while the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has welcomed the call and praised the Prime Minister’s for his wisdom!

This is most ridiculous and outrageous. How did Malaysia descend so quick and fast in the past three years down the slippery slope of a third-world nation, not only in the maintenance culture but in the deterioration in standards, quality, productivity and efficiency in the public service delivery system? Read the rest of this entry »


Ijok – full Parliament debate next week if PM wants to know reasons for Chinese swing to Opposition

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should honour his promise to be Prime Minister of all Malaysians and allocate time for a full debate on the meaning of the Ijok by-election on Saturday before the current Parliamentary meeting adjourns next Thursday after a four-day resumption beginning on Monday.

Two days ago, Abdullah conceded that there was a swing against the Barisan Nasional among the Chinese voters in the Ijok by-election and asked the MCA and Gerakan to explain why the Chinese had supported the Opposition.

However, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting still disputes that there is any significant swing, claiming that while “there was a certain extent of swing in the votes but as a whole, Barisan still obtained a substantial number of the Chinese votes”.

With such hidebound denial syndrome with the classic complex of the ostrich hiding its head in the sand, how can the Prime Minister expect to get any truthful answer from MCA and Gerakan leaders as to why there was a swing of the Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok?

MCA leaders are quite united in publicly pinning the primary blame for the swing of the Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok on the MIC and the poor service record of its former Assemblyman Datuk K. Sivalingam. Ka Ting said a secondary factor was the unhappiness of the Chinese with “certain statements which had hurt their feelings”.

This has further reinforced public doubts about the ability of the MCA and Gerakan to tell Abdullah the truth as to the reasons for the swing of Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition, especially when: Read the rest of this entry »