RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel safety – DAP MPs wants on-the-spot assurance/demo by Samy Vellu before opening

I have sent an urgent fax to the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for on-the-spot safety assurance and demonstration that the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel is safe for use by the public not only on Monday, when it will start operation, but for the next few decades.

This has become even more urgent with more instances of government building and construction defects, with Parliament again leaking in some six places in the foyer outside the media centre this morning after heavy rain — a repeat of the disgraceful incident in April 2005 when Parliament had to be adjourned summarily because rainwater was pouring into the Dewan Rakyat Chamber as a result a ceiling collapse in a RM100 million Parliament renovaton contract.

With the recent unending series of mishaps in public buildings and construction projects, like the landslide in Putrajaya in March which should not have happened, the defects at the Immigration Headquarters and Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Ministry buildings both in Putrajaya, the unfolding mishaps with every other day at the RM290 million largest court complex in Jalan Duta, and now the return of leaks in Parliament building, Malaysian confidence in the safety of public buildings and construction projects have reached a new low.

In this connection, was a certificate for fitness for occupation (CF) issued for the largest court complex in the world, and if so when. If no CF was issued, why was the court complex allowed to be used; and if there was CF, whether actions would be taken against those who had been so negligent as to issue the CF when there are still so many defects, including structural ones, which had to be rectified?

In the case of the RM1.9 billion SMART Tunnel, no margin of mishap could be allowed to happen,as life and limb would be at stake — unlike falling ceilings, leaking buildings and burst pipes which have so far luckily avoided fatalities or human injuries.

For these reasons, DAP MPs would want clear assurances from Samy Vellu that the SMART Tunnel would be absolutely safe when it is open for operation on Monday. Bearing in mind the unbelievable MRR2 flyover breakdown, Samy Vellu should tell Malaysians for how many decades is the SMART Tunnel safe for use by the public.

  1. #1 by Libra2 on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 4:23 pm

    Even if Samy gives his assurance, which he has to, I would advice all motorists to use the old road. It’s not only free but you have peace of mind. Never mind the delay.

  2. #2 by Tai Lo Chin on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 4:30 pm

    DAP MPs would want clear assurances from Samy Vellu that the SMART Tunnel would be absolutely safe when it is open for operation on Monday? You must be needling Samy Vellu here. Who is he to guarantee? If there’s mishap due to negligence, aren’t the consultants, the two leading construction companies in Malaysia, namely Malaysian Mining Corporation Bhd. and Gamuda Bhd. involved to answer for it? One can question whether there was propriety in award by the government and the Works Ministry to the relevant contractors but one can’t hold Samy responsible for professional negligence of the consultants or poor workmanship by contractors resulting in loss of lives.

  3. #3 by Bobster on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 4:36 pm

    Even with 1001 assurances from the honorable Semi Value, we would say so what! We have seen enough ministers/officers/councilors got away without any accountability, no one is responsible for the mishaps/defects, everything just got swept under the carpet or forgotten by our fellow Malaysians. Whereas if similar cases happened in other countries, many heads including the ministers would have been chopped.

    Current head of administration ie AAB just too weak even to laid a single finger on his mens.

  4. #4 by democrate on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 5:28 pm

    Waste of time to ask Samy for safety assurance. He will say its act of God should there be any mishaps. Truely Has Samy ever say sorry or apologise in any of the mishaps ? no, no, this bloody hard core will never do. he like to make use of the God as defensive shield.

  5. #5 by ahkok1982 on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 5:59 pm

    how many times hav we seen baldie thump his chest only to b found wrong n then he blame other ppl. any word fr him is worth less than wat comes out of my butt. y take e tunnel when e old road is fine n free? mind u, if e tunnel collapses, it would b quite a devastating. if u love ur life n ur family n friends, stay away fr e tunnel. u can save a few ringgit in e process too. tt is until e sly n cunning SV close e old road for some “upgrading work” which takes a few years to complete forcing u to use e tunnel.
    BTW, how much is e dracula charging for e tunnel?

  6. #6 by toyolbuster on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 7:19 pm

    Even his hair consultant can’t do the job right for him, so you expect him to give you any assurance on a 1.9B project. Dream on it.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 7:53 pm

    Source http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/IE10Ae01.html

    “…if Anwar and the PKR could deliver a cohesive opposition coalition with 40% of all Malay votes and 60% of ethnic-Chinese ballots, as many as 29 parliamentary seats that BN now holds – half through the MCA and 11 through UMNO – would conceivably be up for grabs.”

  8. #8 by sapna on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 8:21 pm

    How can Samy Value give assurance? he is not god… that will be what he will be saying… so what to do now? Just hope more ministers and wakil rakyat use the tunnel.. because it will be a sure die place if anything gone wrong.. then have more by-election…so i can have NEW roads in my kampung…

  9. #9 by seather on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 9:06 pm

    I saw a documentary on the construction of the smart tunnel on National Geography some time ago and I was quite impressed with the cutting technology they used to construct the tunnel. I am quite sure the designers and engineers are quite capable in their duties.

    However, I am unsure who supplied the concrete. For the sake of those who will be using the tunnel, I hope I don’t see this tunnel appear on “Seconds from Disaster” a few years down the road.

  10. #10 by kelangman88 on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 9:15 pm

    Guys, you know ar. Today Sammy said need 21 Million to check what problem with the leaking.

    Good lar.
    Make the building = $
    Maintenance = $$
    Check the problem = $$$
    Fix the problem = $$$$
    Then problem come again,
    Check problem = $$$$$
    never ending……………………..

    Its just suppose to be
    Make the building = $
    Maintenance = $$

    Now need at least $$$$.

    Mmm..I wonder why no warranty……

  11. #11 by bbtan on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 10:32 pm

    Samy’s assurance of the safety of the SMART tunnel wont worth a sen. If a disaster would happen he would say it was God’s doing. Are the smart Germans who helped built the SMART tunnel not smart enough to have a SMART tunnel in their own country if its safety could be guaranteed?

  12. #12 by malaysia born on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 10:36 pm

    Asking for assurances from Samy is useless. He will just ignore you.

    However, I travel along Jalan Sg Besi occasionally and my observation, the exit at Jln. Sg. Besi is not very well planned.

    Why do i say so?

    From my observation, as one exits onto street level, you proceed to ‘fatten somebody’s wallets’ (i meant, pay your toll), you will travel further on to merge with the main traffic along Sg Besi. Have anyone notice that from 3 lanes the merging point suddenly become a ONE LANE road? In other words, a bottleneck which will result in a massive jam.

    Doesn’t one get the feeling that after ‘performing your social obligation’ (i meant, paying the toll), you are left with that taste of ‘Thank you for your money, now slowly get yourself out of this jam’ feeling?

    Even if you think that you are going to save some money and fuel by using the Tunnel, you will end up buring more fuel and giving your blood pressure a boost.

    Don’t take my word for it. The next time you are along Jln Sg Besi, observe.

  13. #13 by peanut king on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 10:43 pm

    Dont force him to give u an assurance pls. The only assurance he will give will be if at all any crack incurs it will just be a size of a 5c coin not like the now court building which have a 20c crack.

    Next assurance will definitely be if at all it leaks water will not gush out but will drips slowly just like the mulu cave in sarawak. Not a bad thing I suppose cos after a few hundred years stalagmite and stalacite (sorry for the wrong spelling) will form and it will attract alot of tourists to KL.

    BTW are you sure that it will be open to public on monday. They have pospone it twice ,Once on 7th april and end april, without even announcing an apology for the delay.They are keeping the public in suspense for some reasons only known to them.

    KL roads jam are getting so bad so much so we are like twin brothers of bangkok.How to have increase in productivities and efficiencies when travelling to and fro from office takes 3 to 4 hours of non productive time.I wanted to travel by train but they are just as bad,by the time i reach office i am sardined.

    Really a sick country when discrimination and racism are taken in to a/c. Somemore want to take about 2020, pls chg it to 3030.

  14. #14 by nkeng on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 10:59 pm

    Samy cannot give any assurance to anybody. The best he can do is to ask for more budget to repair, check and recheck.

  15. #15 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 9 May 2007 - 11:29 pm

    Deep in my heart I pray the tunnel will be safe for motorist to use, the cause for worry is valid judging by the recent mishaps of public buildings, the SMART tunnel is capable of devastating outcome. If the tunnel perished, so will the govt too.

  16. #16 by kurakura on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 1:41 am

    Nah…the govt will blame someone…

  17. #17 by WFH on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 2:35 am

    You, as well as everybody else, know that even if the (dis)honourable SV Works Minister “guarantees’ the continuing safety of the SMART Tunnel, such a G’tee will be useless, as he is merely a human minister-in-charge. Only God can give such a g’tee.
    Don’t lah, despite what SV thinks of himself, elevate him to a status he thinks he belongs, to that of one of many of his stable of Gods which he frequently heaps blame upon.

    Apart from the dangers posed by a shared tunnel for floodwaters and vehicular traffic, the documentary reported the sinkholes problems during construction. Sinkholes being what they are have a knack of appearing suddenly and unexpectedly, causing collapses and consequent challenges to structural integrity. Users need to be aware of the risks of using the tunnel.

    Dont want to sound morbid, but, god forbid (no, no, NOT SV…!!!), should any incident(s) happen in the Tunnel in future, at least there will be no preferential selection of the unfortunate victims on racial grounds. That’s multi-racial, multi-cultural Malaysia.

  18. #18 by ihavesomethingtosay on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 3:33 am

    Getting rather cheesed off with our Bolehland mentality:

    S.M.A.R.T tunnel, dumb minister.


  19. #19 by lakshy on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 5:50 am

    YB, perhaps better to ask what compensation will be paid to users in the event of any mishap occurring. I ams ure it is bound to happen. It’s ony a question of when. So a portion of the toll collected should be set aside for insurance for all users. I think that is what you should be working on. Sv cannot give any guarantees. He will say its an act of God.

    So this insurance must be worded to cover all eventualities, act of God or otherwise.

  20. #20 by accountability on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 5:56 am

    Uncle Kit,

    Semi Value will only send his cronies/thugs to attend to these challenges – he hasn’t the balls or decency himself.

    Besides, he also passed all those collapsing buildings and bridges – what makes you think his approval for the tunnel is reliable?

    It’ll probably collapse and he will immediately blame God, nature, weather, contractors, other ministries, etc… except himself

  21. #21 by Tai Lo Chin on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:16 am

    Strange you guys are only worried about poor workmanship, design that portend disaster without considering a risk that has nothing to do with Uncle Vellu – terrorist attack (you know by what usual means) of the tunnel! Can the design and structure hold in such an event?

  22. #22 by OnTheFence on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:12 am

    I just do not understand why the government has to bear all the expenses. I agree with kelangman88 on why there was no warranty???? Does our government ever heard of legal action against those contractors? Why do we have to bear the costs?

    Instead for making them pay for the unprofessional works done, we keep on issuing contract to the same people although it may under a different name?

    I appeal to the government to be serious and start taking immediate action before any unwanted mishap happen….or maybe they will only be serious when it involved their loved ones i.e. you need to be a crony then only your well being is look after….


  23. #23 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 10:27 am

    Everyone in the BN coalition are waiting for some form of ‘fortune’ from government projects. What the BN government can do is to make sure all projects are fully ‘utilised’ with paid expenses to cover everyone needs. Before the project and After the project – payment scheme. So, let us not worry about SV, He’s getting a very good ‘packages’ as he is involved in both “before and after” projects. Whether it’s cracking or leaking, SV is the King.
    Now, do you know why he can always come out with ‘funny’ statements during each ‘mishaps’. The ATM machines are functioning just nice for him .. la.

  24. #24 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:39 am

    Even if SV gives a personal guarantee, it really does not count for much.

    Much of the blame for the shoddy jobs should lie with the Finance Ministry which decides who get what and the Auditor-General should report on their procedures.

    If the SMART tunnel follows other projects, this is what will occur.

  25. #25 by FuturePolitician on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:41 am

    I am looking forward to become a politician one day and to be a smart politician. I am sure DAP would like all type of assurance from Mr.Samy of the construction of the Storm tunnel which has dual function.

    I dont see any relevence in getting such assurance but to only increase the tension in the political arena.

    DAP should know who builds the tunnel. It is well established company which builds it. Could they guarantee that the tunnel wont collapse or things breakdown? Does the insurance company willing to accept the risk? The only thing that could bring a tunnel down is an earthquake!

    DAP dont have to seek such assurance. The insurance industry knows better than all the DAP heads put together on this issue. Samy wont know a single thing about building a tunnel. He only interested on HOW much to charge the public whom could affort to use the tunnel and create more traffic lights to slowdown the traffic for those who decides to use the normal roads.

    Building a tunnel has no corners to cut due to the stress load acting on the tunnel surface., professional world renowned company with superb track record are in this business of drilling and construction of tunnels knows they are unable to reduce material used for the construction.

    As for the Putrajaya contractors, as you all know goes without saying , 3 column still able to hold a roof… who would notice if I put a tree on the 4th column to disguise it..its less 1 column for me and extra tree for the client.

    We need alternate government with similarity with BN and I think a revamp on the names of the parties could come in handy in light of a new generation of Malaysians.

  26. #26 by Bobster on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 11:54 am

    Yesterday Star paper showing photo of AAB talking about good governance with honorable Semi Value sitting on his right hand. Is it some kind of a joke? Don’t waste time reading all the crap!

  27. #27 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:11 pm

    It’s not easy to do “wayang kulit” now as we have moved into hyper interactive digital aided system.

  28. #28 by Jimm on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 12:13 pm

    AAB is trying his best to tagged along in the flow, It’s also to show MIC supporters that their leader will survive another day as PM still goes places with him.

  29. #29 by tiger on Friday, 11 May 2007 - 11:07 pm

    When SV was Energy tele Communication minister, Sabahans almost lived in ‘total darkness everyday!!’- frequent power cut / blackout throughout sabah for more than 10 years!!Sabahans hv to resort to go to HUNGER STRIKE to bring National top leaders’ attention to resolve sabah electricity woes. SV was generously bestored by sabahans “” The King of Darkness”.
    Even Until todays SV remains a gosts to most sabahans when power cut occures. today Sabah power cuts still continue and getting worst day by day…. so much so that the ..Total blackout
    times for Sabah= the total blackout times of west malaysia + Sarawak!!!??who want to invest in Sabah?

    I think the real question to ask is not SV’s semi-valued or king of DARKNESS OR .DISASTERS matter . Even ABB sacks SV from the present post ,disasters will continue to happen n may even worst…


    NEP —Negociated tender=== $10m contract easily becomes $30m contract is not uncommon. E.g the Sandakan New centre maket the original contract price was 22m but subsequently gone up to 34m but suprisingly none of the BN leaders or the independent MP from Sandakan has any queries about the price and massive problems relating to it until DAP Mp Lim kit siong visited Sadakan.

    ABB , if you truely wanting to be a good national leader then is not difficult at all to stop all these scandals or misshaps happened, just find out the contract sum given to the subcontractor by the main con(Ali Bapa Boss ,BN strong leaders) . Believe me ,you are not supprise at all to find the Sub con get less than 50% or 40% of the actual contract price! EVEN WORST THE SUBCONS HV TO STRUGGLE HARD TO GET PAID FOR THEIR CLAIMS FOR WORK DONE. ABB WHETHER YOU CONCERN N BELIEVE IT OR NOT SOME SUBCONS EVEN BEING DRAGGED ON FOR YEARS TO GET THEIR FINAL PAY AFTER PROJECTS COMPLETED.

    “” PAYING ALL THE WAY IN THE GOVN’T DEPT FOR CONTRACT CLAIMS IS THE STANDING ORDER OFTHE DAY OF THE PRESENT BN GOVNT.”” This explain verywell why paying 1st class building materils n workmanship turned disasters.!



    ONE OF The real course of all these disasters …IS the unstopable Massive courruption spreading like aids n fire across the country…

    Solution…….immediately stop all kind of Negotiated Tenders. Secondly remove all corrupted leaders. Better tomorrows for all malaysians will then be hopeful…otherwise wawasan 2020 will b a Nightmare!!


  30. #30 by Not spoon fed on Saturday, 12 May 2007 - 10:28 pm

    Use mass media like press conference would be more effective than sending faxes to those respectable BN MPs.

    Direct contact with them is useless. They would ignore you.

    Use mass media to talk not our hand writing to talk would be better.

  31. #31 by sativa on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 2:46 pm

    I guez v r the guinea-pig. If all OK, then v get the name 2 b the 1st in the world wit a SMART tunnel. Well, to all those who wil use the SMART tunnel often, b smart n buy insurance ‘sediakan payung sebelum hujan’. Hav plenty of food, drinkable water, 1st aid kit, survival kit in car all the time, SMART Team tel no and GOOD LUCK. I wonder if any of our politicians, YBs and Datuks will be using the tunnel everyday to get to work, at least it would boost confidence among the public. For me, I wil wait for the SMARTER or SMARTEST tunnel to be built. Meanwhile, I wil pray so that no mishap or incident would happen to those who uses the SMART tunnel and such uninvited incident happens that no one is in the tunnel.

    P.s – Personally, uncle Lim, would you be using the SMART tunnel to cut time?

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