RM4.5 m Belum complex collapse – pass-the-buck begins as Tajol blames Ramli Ngah

The “passing-the-buck” game over the collapse of the RM4.5 million Perak State Park Corporation complex in the Royal Belum State Park, Perak has begun, with the Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali blaming his predecessor Tan Sri Ramli Ngah for the debacle.

Who is really responsible for the collapse of the RM4.5 million Belum complex — Tajol or Ramli?

After visiting the Pulau Banding site of the collapsed structure in Grik yesterday, Tajol described the complex as a project that had never been viable and had been problematic from the start.

This is what he said in the New Straits Times report today:

“How can you spend RM4.5 million for a complex that has only 14 rooms?

“I am really frustrated (with the whole project). As an accountant, I knew that it would be a problem to manage due to the limited number of rooms. You need at least 50 rooms for such a place to be economically viable.”

Tajol said there were developers in Ipoh who could build a complex or resort with 100 rooms on a budget of only RM8 million.

He cited poor interior design as one of the problems of the complex, which was to be a one-stop centre for tourists.

He said: “It was too late for me to stop the project as it was already being constructed then (when he became MB).”

Tajol made no mention of the real cause of the collapse of the complex, which cannot be its lack of economic viability, but can only be due to failures of engineering design or construction as well as irresponsibility of contractor/sub-contractor and government supervision.

So who is at fault — Tajol or Ramli. Tajol took over as Perak Mentri Besar from Ramli Ngah in December 1999.

Is it possible for Tajol just to wash his hands of responsibility so easily simply on the ground that it was “too late” for him to intervene in the project.

If so, this should be additional reason for him to support an independent public inquiry into the collapse of the RM4.5 million Belum complex, to fully exonerate him of any responsibility for the collapse of the building.

Ramli, who is Speaker of Parliament, should not object to a emergency debate in Parliament on Monday on the collapse of the RM4.5 million Belum complex, which will be his strong defence that he has nothing to hide.

With the collapse of the Belum complex, sub-standard government delivery system in Malaysia has entered a new phase from new public buildings “cracking up” or leaking to simply collapsing.

Although this is unprecedented, it is nothing to be proud but cause for shame for the government, whether at state or national level.

As Tajol has openly passed the buck and put the blame on his predecessor, it is also time for Ramli to present to the public his case as to whether he accepts or refutes the Perak Mentri Besar’s kicking the ball to him.

  1. #1 by messy on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 1:23 pm

    it’s a menteri attitude…if someone admits then he’ll be shot dead by opposition party…so to subdue the problem the best way is to play merry-go-round…

    i blame u, u blame me, i blame contractor, contractor blame sub-contractor, sub-contractor blame indon workers, indon workers balik indonesia because no legal permit….

    so in the end who’s fault?…this is the formula of success…if it works in malaysia then it works anywhere…

  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 1:29 pm

    YB, just like I thought! you could build some thing bigger with that money, and to prove his point, another quotation will be called say another $8 million witn 101 rooms; but rthey forget the real business issue , how many ppl would go and stay there?
    I believe some where along a road betwen ijok and kuala selansor, there is a building in the middle of nowhere, I wonder how often it is used. Basically, it aims at creating opportunities whixh have no purpose for the average malaysians. That it. When would they stop and give a thought to the poors in the less fortunate areas?

  3. #3 by k1980 on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 1:32 pm

    Ramli will next pass the buck to his predecessor who in turn will put the blame on Parameswara, the founder of the Melaka Sultanate…. and so on and so forth until it comes to the orang asli who came to the Malay Peninsula from Yunnan centuries ago

  4. #4 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 1:51 pm

    Just imagine RM4.5 million just falls flat on the ground, literally flat with nothing standing at site.

    Economically viable or not is another matter. In business there is always a way to turn around if there is a will.

    But now before any venture could get off the ground, RM4.5 million is already flat on the ground.

    Don’t any one from the government, whether state, federal, department feel ashame?

    Typical of the governing politicians and the lackadaisical attitude of Malaysian civil servants. No wonder conscientious and diligent people would not ever consider joining civil service.

    Current MB of Perak took over the reign in Dec 1999. That was a good 7 years ago. What is he barking now? That is why it is typical of them.

    He is not the only one and will not be the last one too.

  5. #5 by Anti_NEP on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 2:14 pm

    I am not surprised at all when i heard about the news. It’s a matter of time this thing happen. Just look at the composition of the teams involved in the construction. The architect, civil and structural engineers. mechanical and eletrical engineers, QS and contractors were all NEP products. You have half past six people doing the work of course you get half past six job. Do you know that any government projects which is less that RM 30 million must be given to bumi firm from professional design to construction?

  6. #6 by shortie kiasu on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 2:16 pm

    Sometimes other people would wonder whether the treasury of Malaysia is flushed with funds. Ever so often the government politicians and civil servants just squander money away like water in megabucks fiasco, example, lately, Brickendonbury sport complex, Port Klang Free Trade Zones, the list just goes on & on….

    It is real mockery that on the one hand government tries to cut corners here and there, and said in the UMNO assembly, the petrol subsidies have come up to billions of dollars, and on the other hand money just get squandered like water. What is the use of going to outer space when the poor and the unemployed are still struggling on the ground trying to eke out a living?

    Our Politicians are living in the ivory tower, shielded from all the adversity. How good a policy they can come out with? People like “one-closed”, palace residence in Klang… The list again goes on & on….

    That is a mockery to the rhetorics that Malaysia boleh.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 2:39 pm

    Blame Ramli Ngah Talib?

    Its specific, of public interest BUT not urgent.

  8. #8 by swee_ann_tweety on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 3:31 pm



    The above said building is about RM4.5million! Gosh. That’s lots of money.

    Samy Vellu in his statement this year mentioned that he needed money for the inspection of all government buildings. And isn’t this building a government one?

    The committee has been tasked to conduct a study on all government buildings within six months. The exercise is expected to cost about RM22 million, he said after his ministry’s post-cabinet meeting. (May 10, 2007 Thursday Samy Vellu demands truth behind airport blackout NST)

    So now, after 6 months a government buidling collapses. What happened to the RM 22 million? Mana perginya duit ini?

  9. #9 by oknyua on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 4:19 pm

    YB Lim,

    Many topics happen around Peninsula. What about topics from Sabah and Sarawak? What about the Rejang Bridge at Durin? What about the failed Sago Plant in Mukah? The Paper Pulp? Whooose.. in fact Sarawak has the most uncovered stories.

  10. #10 by ihavesomethingtosay on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 5:01 pm

    ACTS OF GOD, obviously……


  11. #11 by sec on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 5:17 pm

    Belum Complex Collapse
    Nasib baik ; Belum Complete sudah collapse; kalau
    sudah complete baru collapse, lagi manpoi.

  12. #12 by Jong on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 6:16 pm

    Corruption, corruption, corruption! What else? No excuses. Wasn’t any soil test done by the consultant engineer before the structural design put in place?
    Sheer incompetence that’s all.

    Know why Perak – the tin rich Kinta Valley lies within is such a poor state today? – It just took a few irresponsible and corrupted MBs to wipe out all its wealth! Ramli Ngah Talib was one ‘powerful’ MB during his time. Together with his wife, they had their thumbs and fingers well placed in every state pie.

    Come visit Perak and look for yourselves the glut of government complexes left empty for years. There’s even a huge “white elephant muzium” in his kampong next to his father’s land!

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 6:21 pm

    We know what the sub-sub-sub-sub-contractors did last summer.

    With the below minimal money that the sub-sub-sub-sub-contractors received (being last in the juicy gravy train) from their upstream parasites/suckers, they had no choice but to put up a building with the barest minimal cement and sand, like a house of cards.

    When the big bad wolf huffs and puffs, the building came down. A familiar story we all heard when we were young. Right, Samy?

    Let’s wait for the other buildings, maybe the Palace of Justice, for example, implode on a Guy Fawkes Day. A spectacular event in Visit Malaysia 2008, maybe.

  14. #14 by Godfather on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 6:47 pm

    Pot calling the kettle black. Go back to zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 7:50 pm

    14-room complex costs RM4.5 million.
    This works out: 1 room costs RM321,428.57.

    Now I would like to know the room size? 15×20? 300 square feet?
    Assuming it’s 300 sq. ft, then the building cost is RM100,000/sq ft!
    Wow! That may even beat Brunei’s palace hands down, I think.

    Tajol said developers in Ipoh can build 100 rooms for RM8 million;
    that is 1 room costs RM80,000.

    People of Perak got ripped off ! Now, can the PArliamentary Audit Committee & ACA please check who did the ripping?

  16. #16 by Jong on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 7:55 pm

    Who else, the henpecked MB lah! How he got promoted baffled Perakians!

  17. #17 by akarmalaysian on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 8:20 pm

    not only the people of perak has been ripped off…the whole of malaysia has been ripped off by these good for nothing scumbags.with all the sweet implementations of future mega projects for north east south and west…i cant make myself to think of how much these suckers are gonna rip us malaysians this time.so come election time…how much is this BN machinery or umno gonna come up with…to u knw la do watever it takes to win.and whr the hell are they gonna hv that so much fund to spend.dun tell me they are just gonna put up some candidates and then seeing them yelling and shouting like monkeys and win in a fair fight…i dun think so.this nazri thinks thrs nothing wrong with the election system…and if thrs nothing wrong he wont be seeing people holding the mass rally fr BERSIH.he wud be an idiot if he thought so…sorry…not wud be…he is definitely an idiot all these while.

  18. #18 by Short-sleeve on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 9:42 pm

    Oh, Malaysia apa-apa pun boleh.

  19. #19 by smeagroo on Saturday, 17 November 2007 - 11:16 pm

    Hey dont worry la. Semi Value will as usual throw a tantrum then later get his crony contractors to look into it. A fee will be charged.

    They will just blame it on the soil when they cant shit.

  20. #20 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 12:02 am

    “Sometimes other people would wonder whether the treasury of Malaysia is flushed with funds. ” shortiekiasu

    Interesting! Nobody ever asks. Has anybody ever thought that they could be printing money as and when they need it? How is the Ringgit valued today in terms of gold and the U.S. dollar? Anybody?

    Is it fixed to the U.S. dollar, or pegged to the U.S. dollar and allowed to float within a certain margin? Which?

  21. #21 by Malaysiacorrupted on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 12:08 am

    Again and again, nobody will own up and its back to finger pointing. Eventually things will close up (MRR2 would be a very good example) and no one will remember about the mishap. Mainstream media will not cover up this story, and Samy Vellu will then give reasons of Act of God. I will not be suprised if he claim that the climate change is the reason behind the collapse.

    YB Lim,
    Seriously, there is no point for you to raise a motion to debate about this in Parliament now as it will be shot down by the Speaker, like how he always do that to any motions raised by the oppositions (especially you).

    I would advice that report should be lodge with the Police and Anti-Corruption Agency. And a formal complain on the Architect should be written to the Board of Architects, and another complain to the Board of Engineers. Both of this bodies have the right to initiate investigations on their members who are found to be acting not in accordance with the profession ethics. Or in this case, an act of negligence was committed by the profession.
    This is a serious offence and if found guilty, he would lose his license.

    Seriously, you would want to consider this option. At least it will expose the culprits.

  22. #22 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 12:45 am

    “This is a serious offence and if found guilty, he would lose his license.” Malaysiacorrpted

    If and when found guilty, he or she should go to jail if there is evidence of criminal negligence.

  23. #23 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 1:45 am

    Could this engineer be “limkamput” who changed his name from Dollah from Kg. Attap??

  24. #24 by harrisonbinhansome on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 2:09 am

    If this Japan, the world’s most famous Work Minister had long commited suicide and die in honour. But this is Malaysia. Before pre-Bodohwi, he was highly perceived as Mr. Clean but as days goes by all his words are in the drains.

    Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank are the co-join winners of 2006 ‘Nobel Peace Prize’. If there is A ‘Nobel Sleep Prize’ winner, I ‘ll give you 2 guesses but you only need 1.

    I am in the knowlege that a certain cabinet Minister is viewing and probably will publish your posts. And oh yes, hopefully he do not overlook mine.

  25. #25 by sj on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 3:36 am

    Uncle Lim,

    At this stage it does not matter whose fault it is, so long as someone’s head from their end roll. Since they have institutionalised corruption they must pay for it. The way to find out here is, follow the money trail. Whoever got rich and paid well because of this contract, should be investigated. Of course that can only be done if they did not OSA the issue or put it under incompetent Badan Pengalak Rasuah.

  26. #26 by k1980 on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 10:04 am

    In the end, nobody’s heads or balls will roll. In fact, the same contractor who caused the collapse of the State Park Corporation complex will be awarded the same contract to rebuild it, without any need of tendering for it, and with its cost doubled to RM9 million!

  27. #27 by justiciary on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 10:23 am

    Very soon the Visit Malaysia Poster will include the ‘Never Ending Scandal’ as one of its attractions to local as well as foreign tourists.All tourist guides are encouraged to take their visitors to the latest ‘NES’ spot,the well known BELUM BANGUNAN RUNTUH.Come and see for yourselves this land of one after another scandal.

  28. #28 by madmix on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 11:15 am

    Tajol is an accountant who cannot count. A 100 room facility will need a lot of staff to maintain and service the facility. What if business is poor? they will bleed faster and they will have a bigger headache. Of course the building can be built a lot cheaper. just have a fair and open tender! But will he do that?

  29. #29 by Chin NA on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 2:25 pm

    my dear friends,
    Think about RM$4.5M, is it really enough? Under budget right from the beginning. That’s way it collapse.

    Collapse, can build again-lah. No big deal. This time please allocate more money-lah. In the major Asian cities like Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai, RM$4.5M cannot even buy you a decent terrace house in a decent place.

    The budget should have been RM$45M.

    Please be fair in your evaluation of the situation in Perak.

  30. #30 by zainuddinmaidin on Sunday, 18 November 2007 - 4:37 pm

    In this case we need to ask this question next week to the Tuan yang Di-pertua Speaker in the Dewan Rakyat, he will answer everything.

  31. #31 by sj on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 2:09 am

    In this case we need to ask this question next week to the Tuan yang Di-pertua Speaker in the Dewan Rakyat, he will answer everything. By zainuddinmaidin.

    I doubt that this Ramli Ngah will answer everything. I mean look at his action in Parliaments and you will see that he has been proactively covering the BN MP’s back side more than you can stomach. Whenever people from the Opposition voiced concern or said something sensible, you can bet that Ramli Ngah the Speaker is going to jump in and try his best to undermine the Opposition’s effort. Time and time again, this guy has been doing that. So to expect him to fess up to something this big, would be rather impossible is like asking Mahathir himself to fess up with the Crooked Bridge and Judiciary Mess issue created.

  32. #32 by Filibuster on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 4:10 am

    From what I read in that Star report, the building hasn’t started to be in use, even though it was completed in 2004. My thoughts are thus either:

    1. It is used to win rakyat’s votes, by claiming that such a structure would boost , and that it shows good investment sense by the people who commisioned it (not to mention it also nets a personal profit, if you get what I mean).

    2. It is a convenient attempt to not only pocket some of the money down the line, but also dispose of evidence that could be used against the pepetrators (“no building, no talk”). Now, only tiny bits of evidence are left, in the form of contracts, and if they are informal, how is an investigation to be done? Even if the Police wanted to – they wouldn’t have any means to do so.

  33. #33 by sotong on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 8:20 am

    Bad quality and architectural design and construction are damaging our beautiful cities and country…..these are big and permanent structure.

  34. #34 by 1eyecls on Monday, 19 November 2007 - 11:05 pm

    to these bumicontractors,thy always beg for govt. to gv them projects,most of the time,through UPE (unit perancang ekonomi bumi,by-passed JKR/PBT,also known as a dept. that generates thousands of crony crontractors!),collapse or not collapse,nobody can touch them,thy will be scotfree!

    i heard sometimes,when these idiot bumi main-contractors didn’t remit progress payments to their sub-contractors,the projects were stagnant,then another new sub-contractors continuing the projects,payment problem again,it becomes a hay-wired projects,it goes on and on again,never ending story,that’s why there were many projects that dragged for decades only could b completed!(a very good example is the jln.duta’s MARTRADE!)

    malaysia is a bolehland,a lot of ALIBABA ‘dongeng’ are happenning in our real lives,not very far away from HARRY POTTER!

  35. #35 by DarkHorse on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 - 5:49 am

    “I heard sometimes,when these idiot bumi main-contractors didn’t remit progress payments to their sub-contractors,the projects were stagnant..”

    Could it be the likes of this limkamput aka dollah from Kampong Attap??

  36. #36 by 1eyecls on Wednesday, 21 November 2007 - 10:40 pm

    yes,limkamput=ninkonpoop.wat a coincidence!

    i hv even warn several times,dont ever get involved with SIL’s projects,you wud never even get paid!

  37. #37 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 8:30 am

    We are always having problems with government buildings, why? Simple reason, they get someone who knows nuts about construction to get the award and then subs it to sub-contractors who then subs it on to others. Eventually, the poor guy doing the job cannot even cover the cost of materials and so he will simply use the cheapest materials to finish the job. Result – low quality jobs at high costs!!! This is a typical example of MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!! Look at what happened to the Kepong flyover, the Ampang highway, Parliament house, the new courts complex in Kuala Lumpur and many others and tell me who should carry the baby!!! But our Semi Value still says it is none of his business despite being the Minister of Works!!!!

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