New govt delivery system – make sure it is not “3rd-world Infrastructure, 4th-rate Mentality, 9th-rate Maintenance”

The new government delivery system the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to unveil in ten days’ time must send out the blunt message that Malaysia under his watch will not degenerate from “First-World Infrastructure, Third-World Mentality” to “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-rate Mentality, Ninth-class Maintenance”.

When Abdullah became Prime Minister on October 31, 2003, he promised Malaysians one fundamental change — to eradicate the “First-World Infrastructure, Third-World Mentality” malaise and propel the country to “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” status.

After being Prime Minister for 47 months, there are not only no signs of any significant breakthrough for Malaysia make the transition from a “First-World Infrastructure, Third-World Mentality” malaise to a “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” status, there are more and more disturbing evidence of serious and rapid deterioration of the national condition towards a stage which is best described as “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-rate Mentality, Ninth-class Maintenance”!

Never before in the 50-year history of the nation has the public service been seen as more inept and incompetent — with the unending list of “crack-ups” of new government buildings and public construction projects, whether the brand-new administrative capital of Putrajaya, the RM270 million world’s second largest court complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, the Parliament Building after RM100 million renovation and the latest, the safety of the 15-storey Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry in Precinct 4, Putrajaya.

It is reported today that a committee headed by the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang is to inspect 72 government buildings in Putrajaya, 22 in Kuala Lumpur and another 168 rented offices in the wake of recent mishaps ranging from burst pipes to collapsed ceilings.

Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had said early last month that RM22 million is needed to inspect new government buildings in Putrajaya for defects. Now that the scope of inspection has been widened to include 22 government buildings in Kuala Lumpur and another 168 rented offices, will the inspection costs come to a mammoth bill of close to RM100 million — without taking into account the even higher costs of the necessary repairs and renovations!

However, the most important question about the scandal of new government building defects and mishaps has not been answered, viz: what is fundamentally wrong with the public service that it is necessary to set up such a committee incurring such astronomical expenses just to inspect them in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur when they have been built recently at the cost of billions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money?

Asked if the findings of the inspection would be published, Ambrin said that while he did not have a problem with it, the team had yet to decide on this.

This is typical “Third-World Mentality” where accountability and transparency is the exception than the rule. The Malaysian public service cannot claim to be “First-World” until it is prepared to take accountability and transparency seriously, which includes respecting the right of information of Malaysian citizens and taxpayers — with disclosures of public information particularly of committees of inquiry into government failings accepted as the rule rather than the exception!

All these are powerful testimony that under Abdullah’s watch as Prime Minister in the past 47 months, Malaysia has not been able even to hold on to the status of “First-World Infrastructure, Third-World Mentality” but has rapidly fallen backwards.

Abdullah must be aware of the great letdown of his administration in the past 47 months, as his son-in-law, Deputy Umno Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin (regarded by many as the most powerful man in the administration) has openly admitted that the Prime Minister’ had made a gross understatement when he coined the phrase “First-class Infrastructure, Third-Class Mentality”.

Khairy (who probably coined the phrase in the first instance) now concedes that “it’s becoming clear that the infrastructure, too, is third class, courtesy of third-rate minds and attitudes”. (New Sunday Times 3.6.07).

Is Khairy lambasting “third-rate minds and attitudes” in the government and Cabinet of his father-in-law?

Abdullah has promised Malaysians a new public delivery system in 10 days on June 14. Nobody (and I suspect the Cabinet Ministers and top government officials as well) has any inkling what is this new government delivery system he would be announcing, but the least he must do is to assure Malaysians that as Prime Minister he would not preside over Malaysia becoming a “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-rate Mentality, Ninth-class Maintenance” even if he could not achieve the goal of a “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” nation.

  1. #1 by Winston on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 11:57 am

    RM22 million just to inspect new government buildings!
    Is this the amount that taxpayers have to pay to have it done? Is the job to be undertaken by private “experts”?
    Why can’t the PWD, which should be tasked with such monitoring, do it? Or are they so lacking in staff that lacks even such rudimentary skills?
    In that case, shouldn’t the PWD be shut down and the work done by them outsourced to private contractors? The minister himself should be retired.
    This will, in the final analysis, save taxpayers a lot of money and a lot of headache!

  2. #2 by FuturePolitician on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:30 pm

    AAB now has a speech writer whom doesnt know shit what to write about. Soon many of us will start to ponder, is AAB really smart like TDM, or just cant take anymore pressure of people wanting him to be smart.

    I have seen his energy as a politician and his personality, he doesnt have the will anymore to lead the country,.just run out of idea and energy for change.

    In coming election, whom are we going to vote for? The other options besides BN

    DAP- watchdog as they always have been ( doesnt support changes or take active role to have a alternative government)
    PAS – Potentially can be an alternative government, but in the calm river lies the great big crocodile waiting to implement their islamic radical laws. They have the people and at least attempting to change themselves.
    PKR – Full of idealism, have great backing..but yet they would be no more different than the current BN mentality..

    Looks like BN is going to rule Malaysia for another term but with who as our PM?

    PAS is potentially a new alternative government in the next election not coming election if they can include other races into their party.

    Seriously what will DAP do?

    On this subject matter, it is conclusive and without doubt what we are having currently is degrading 1st in the world infrastructure, degrading to 3rd world mentality and 9th GRADE maintenance forces.

    Many local developed engineers from government linked universities, do not apply international standard in their quality control. They apply their own standard which comes with a price.

    I have bought extension cables with SIRIM approved, yet I find the the wiring is crossed and the insulation so thin, that ants can bite them off.

  3. #3 by Alvin on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:35 pm

    KJ seems to knock in some sense in his article appearing in yesterday’s NST (quoted by LKS above)
    Quote from “There’s a leak in our civic virtue by KJ”
    “When things go wrong, everyone blames everyone else. Nobody wants to be accountable. Government agencies tasked with monitoring the construction of these installations blame the contractors. Contractors blame the people in charge of maintenance. Around and around we go until people forget about it.”
    We all know the loop is much longer and intertwined, not just between contractors, maintenance people & Govt agencies.
    but there are loads of unseen hands, unseen maneuvers occuring where each has a vested self interest.

  4. #4 by OnTheFence on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:35 pm

    Why the shock?

    This is all political drama in view of the upcoming election. Suddenly, the government is concern & taking action against complains etc when these things has been higlighted earlier and could have been avoided.

    We are the laughing stock of the world including 3rd world world countries, where we are suppose to be the leader…how can a minister said it is OK to occupy a building when there is no CF…….this does not concern with 3rd or 4th rate mentality but sincerity in doing a job…..i guess all these appointed ministers are more concern on accumalating wealth rather than serving the country and its people. when something goes wrong they will look everywhere to blame and also have the cheek to make some money out of it……

    I agree with WINSTON that PWD should look into this free of charge and not be appointing somebody else to do it for them……

    Well only in malysia that we reward somebody when there is no result or achievement i.e. salary increase…


  5. #5 by Alvin on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 12:51 pm

    Government decides to use taxpayers money to built
    most often contracts are overpriced, whose $$$

    public buildings fail as specs are compromised or shortchanged

    remedial action …..
    ministers propose to use taxpayers money to investigate
    whose $$$ again???

    what next ….. your guess

    when the MRR2 failed and was repaired, who paid the bill, can someone enlightened?
    no heads rolled.

    When the Nicol highway collasped in Singapore,
    consider the speed at which action were taken
    how many heads chopped
    thats a great example of First World mentality

  6. #6 by mendela on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 1:43 pm

    Not only heads were chopped in Nicol Highway episode, the contractors were charged and put to jail too.

    What about MRR2 case?

    This is the difference between a pariah Government and a smart Government!

  7. #7 by Cinapek on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 2:07 pm

    It was not too long ago that KJ rant and rave at Tony Pua for suggesting that the bloated civil service be improved. Putting words into Tony’s mouth, KJ had suggested that Tony had belittled the civil service.

    Now he goes and calls the same civil service “third rate minds and attitudes”. This turnaround suggest:

    1) he attacks Tony Pua’s comments just to play to the racist gallery because the majority of the civil service are Malays.

    2) He knows in his own heart that Tony is right but he just could not let a Chinaman and a DAP member to take the credit for pointing out the obvious

    3) Or is because he has sensed the winds of change of the voters who are sick and tired of the “bocor” fiascos and still has to foot the bill for the civil service bunglings.

    4) Or he is creating a red herring to divert attention away from the intense scrutiny on the shameful failings of the collapsing structures brought upon by corruption at the highest level and which will be revealed if allowed to be probed further. Quickly blaming the civil servants will take the heat off the real culprits

    5) Or all of the above.

    Either this guy has little or no scruples or he is so blinded by his own arrogance, he cannot see how his own contradictory statements are slaps in his own face.

  8. #8 by Ghost on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 3:09 pm

    Why are we still looking at the ponds when our ocean is polluted? Why need new politician when clearly our system is not working?
    Why still follow? Why still listen? Why not evolve? Why not create?

  9. #9 by mendela on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 3:17 pm

    Sacked Chief Justice of Pakistan is making wave and wave of protests against its corrupted and power cracy President now.

    What about Malaysia?
    Where is our sacked CJ and others now? It is high time you guys do the same!

    Present UMO Government is 100 times more corrupted than the Pakistanis’!

  10. #10 by Godfather on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 4:29 pm

    3rd World infrastructure, 4th rate Mentality and Zero Maintenance.

  11. #11 by Godfather on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 4:46 pm

    not to mention a world record time to apportion blame by non other than the mouth that moves faster than his brain – Semi Value !

  12. #12 by undergrad2 on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 7:37 pm

    Why is the DAP complaining??

    First, it did the right thing by drawing public attention to the many public buildings which one day could be more than a just of leaking roofs and falling tiles. They could turn into a major disaster in terms of their cost in human lives.

    The United States has seen a lot of collapsing buildings especially in the 70s including a major sports stadium near the O’Hare Airport meant to house some 18,000 sports fans! Fortunately it happened during the construction stage and no lives were lost.

    The DAP has done the right thing by calling attention to the possibility that other public buildings may suffer from the same problem. This is the real ‘bocor’ that we should concern ourselves with – and not the sexist remarks made by two MPs. ‘Sexism’ and ‘sexist’ remarks may be an issue of some concern in developed countries, but in the case of Malaysia a country still struggling with basic issues of freedom etc this seems out of proportion to the more urgent issues.

    That is not all.

    Now that government attention has been drawn to the fact that other buildings may be in the same danger, should we blame the BN government and their corrupted Ministers from taking advantage of it?

    The DAP should not be complaining of the ‘astronomical’ cost of inspections and revamping some of these structures, since they make the opportunity available to corrupt civil servants and politicians to continue with their ‘corrupt ways’.

    It looks like the DAP is never satisfied.

    Language and education has been politicized. Then religion – and now public safety.

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 7:43 pm

    There are issues which are bipartisan in nature and both the BN run government and the Opposition would do well to come together and make ‘public safety’ an issue of public concern.

  14. #14 by mendela on Monday, 4 June 2007 - 10:04 pm

    Looking at all the bocor issues, just wonder when will the twin towers bocor or collapse?

    Like most of the Government linked projecs, the construction of Twin Towers were sub to many sub-contractors. The more layers it was, the harder it is to pin-point the culprits for any wrong doings. Further more, many of the sub cons are registered as RM 2 companies and lacking experiences!

    Pls tell me how can the Government make claims effectively should any thing goes wrong?

  15. #15 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 - 2:20 am

    It is all about the economy, am I right? Now that there are building inspection projects worth RM22 millions, now that is how you create jobs and opportunities to make more money. Can anyone complain that there are more money to be made if more shits were to happen to us in this country? Someone is going to pay for all those things. Something went terribly wrong in this country and if we allowed it to continue, we are doom.

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