Call for RCI on MRR2 Scandal – Samy Vellu’s final folly with Malaysians again made the suckers

In May last year, I said that the old saying “once is accident, twice is coincidence, thrice is enemy action” could appropriately be modified to “once is accident, twice is coincidence, thrice is systemic government collapse” in reference to the spate of government mishaps under the Abdullah premiership.

I was referring to the spate of embarrassing defects in new government offices in a matter of weeks, viz:

• the landslide in Putrajaya (Precinct 9) only inches away from three 15-storey government apartments, damaging 25 cars and evacuating more than 1,500 people from Blocks A, B and C in Phase 11 of the government housing complex on March 22, 2007;

• the closure of the Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya after water flooded the seven-floor building following a failure in plumbing, turning away and evacuating more than 1,000 people on April 11, 2007;

• the collapse of a ceiling due to a leaky sprinkler system at the Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development Ministry in Putrajaya on April 28, 2007; and

• the ceiling collapse in a secretary’s room at the world’s largest court complex at the new Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur on April 30, 2007.

This tag “once is accident, twice is coincidence, thrice is systemic government collapse” can again be invoked over the latest government scandal – the third closure with the reappearance of cracks on the Middle Ring Road (MRR) 2 in Kepong, less than two years after an atrociously exorbitant RM70 million repair of the RM238 million project.

When the MRR2 was partially closed on Sunday after two motorists cheated death when their cars were hit by debris when carbon fibre straps on one of the pillars gave way, the Works Minister, Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad made two statements:

• “We will not compromise on the safety of motorists although my officers have reported that the structure is safe”; and

• “The government will not bear any cost because the repair is still under warranty until the end of the year”.
Both statements are bunkum and have little credibility, which were the trademark of the former Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, whom Mohd Zinn should not be emulating.

The latest MRR2 Scandal is Samy Vellu’s latest folly with Malaysians again made the suckers.

The MRR2 has become a hydra-headed scandal for multiple reasons, including:

(1) Closed down the first time in August 2004 and second time in February 2006 because of flyover cracks within two years of its original completion, when it should be able to meet international standards and last for 100 years.

In February 2006, Samy Vellu boasted that the MRR2 viaduct in Kepong after repair “could be used for 95 more years because they were normally built to last 100 years”!

In August 2006, when MRR2 was re-opened to light traffic, Samy Vellu further boasted that “Motorists are assured of their safety” as the standard of safety set for the road was higher than the 1.5 British Standard benchmark, i.e. 1.7.

All these boasts have been punctured by another MRR2 mishap and partial closure for three weeks on Sunday.

(2) Samy Vellu had repeatedly declared as Works Minister for 42 months from August 2004 to March 2008 that MRR2 contractor Bumi Highway would have to pay for the full repair cost, which is another scandal of good governance.

This is because of the unexplained and unaccounted four-fold cost overrun in the MRR2 repair bill, from the originally estimated RM18 million to the final bill of RM70 million.

Although theoretically Mohd Zin is right that the new repair bill will have to be borne by Bumi Highway, this is a meaningless statement as Bumi Highway has not spent a single sen for the earlier RM70 million repair which had been fully borne by the government and taxpayers as “advance payment” for the contractor!

This is where Malaysian taxpayers have been made suckers again and again by empty and meaningless Ministerial statements and assurances.

(3) Revelation that the solution adopted by the Works Ministry to repair the original MRR2 cracks went against the expert recommendation of Halcrow Consulting Ltd, advising against the use of pre-stressed carbon fibre to strengthen the pillar heads because of its limited ductility (capacity to deform before fracture). (The Sun)

Halcrow was paid RM8 million for its consultancy report which went down the drain when it was rejected by the Public Works Department.

(4) The personal and direct intervention of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resolve the intense turf war between the then Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the PWD, requiring the covening of a special meeting on a Friday on 3rd February 2006, which was attended by among others the second Finance Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcob and the then Chief Secretary Tan Sri Samsudin Osman.

Samy Vellu won the battle against the PWD at the Feb. 3 meeting but eventually lost the war. Although Samy Vellu announced after the meeting that the MRR2 repair work would be supervised by the British-based consultants Halcrow, maintaining that the costs would be RM18 million, the turf war was finally won by the PWD at a Cabinet meeting two weeks later which upheld the PWD’s recommendation in awarding the repair work to German consulting firm Leonhardt Andra and Partners (LAP) at a cost of RM40 million, which later mushroomed mysteriously to RM70 million!

(5) Ministerial responsibility by the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers for the new MRR2 cracks scandal, as the Cabinet must set an example of accountability to the entire public service and the nation for its decision on the repairs.

(6) The failure by the government officials, whether from the Finance Ministry or the Public Works Department to give proper and truthful account for the MRR2 scandal to the Public Accounts Committee of the previous Parliament, to the extent that some officials had committed parliamentary contempt in misleading the Public Accounts Committee.

Samy Vellu said yesterday that he has no comment to make on the second MRR2 scandal and that he would only answer questions from a government-appointed panel of inquiry on the matter.

Samy Vellu owes the Malaysian taxpayers a full and truthful accounting for his stewardship of the Works Ministry, as he had presided over many follies and scandals which have ended up with the Malaysian taxpayers as the suckers in footing the final bills.

For this reason, I call for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the MRR2 scandal, both the first and second, to let their full sordid tale to be told and accounted to Malaysian taxpayers.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:08 pm

    Satu lagi projek Barisan Nasional. Cemerlang, Gemilang, Temberang !

  2. #2 by trublumsian on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:20 pm

    Kit, this is good reporting. If only it can be read by the so many suckers who still think bn can do no wrong.

  3. #3 by toyolbuster on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:26 pm

    We must lodge a police report to charge Samy for fraud.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:26 pm


    Make sure those who are responsible for MRR2 failure do not wash their hands and get away so easily.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:31 pm

    Satu lagi projek Barisan Nasional is incorrect because the mosquito parties of mca, mic, gerakan, pbs, ect are not allowed to be involved in such revenue-generating projects. It is actually Satu lagi projek umno hadhari.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:40 pm

    I say have Samy Vellu pay for the repairs, now and the past. He has the money!!!!

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:41 pm

    .. which he has no reason to have in the first place!!!

  8. #8 by taiking on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 2:51 pm

    Guys. Guys.
    Please angle all comments on this subject towards the coming by-election in PP.
    Dont waste bullets.

  9. #9 by taikohtai on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 3:36 pm

    How to get super rich under BN gomen:

    1. Procure project without tender, only connections required: 30% value upfront minimum.
    2. Complete project and double, triple initial billing amount, causing massive blowout: 50% more
    3. Repair leaking, broken down project within months: 30% tambah lagi
    4. More repairs, renovations and service to projects:
    +30% extra
    5. Knock down project: 50% fees more
    6. Re-built new project and more white elephants:
    REPEAT 1 above…………………..
    This cycle is called NEP = Never Ending Projects

  10. #10 by Yee Siew Wah on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 3:47 pm

    This semi value has already said on TV that he is no longer responsible. No comment.
    See, typical reaction from the running goons of the government. Funny this time he did not say his famous phrase “act of god” on the current MRR2 fiasco. $70 million bucks repeat $70 million bucks on the repair by so-called foriegn experts and approved by our usual sleepy flipflop PM. These r the things a responsible government should zoom on instead on personal sexual releationship which do not involve any life or death.
    Anyway, money already in the pocket la, who cares now.
    Probably some goons r now wringling their hands. Another repair, good. Wonder how much (we make) this time, hehehe…

  11. #11 by AhPek on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 3:52 pm

    Samy Vellu’s stewardship of the Works Ministry is one sad tale of serially sodomising taxpayers and getting away with it all.Question is just when will this b…..d be brought to justice or can it ever be done?

  12. #12 by BioLovepulse on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 4:00 pm

    This mission-critical infrastructure is down again – with a scandal behind it?! Samy Vellu owes us a full account of the mishap – he should know things best.

    From this day let me wish that we won’t hear anymore of works carried out against expert recommendations. I have to question the professionalism of our government machinery regarding all matters. The government is neglecting the importance of retaining talents to help develop our nation. By just hiring those budak-budak who knows little about things they’re doing- WE WILL BE DOOMED soon enough.

  13. #13 by cheng on on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 4:01 pm

    Another insult to all Msia engineers and contractors, this SV had insulted all Msia engineers and contractors many times by having so many problem projects.

  14. #14 by yyh on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 4:10 pm

    you think that Badawi cares. there are other priorities like the ridiculuos sodomy charge against anwar. he just doesnt freaking care except to have his good time with jean. afterall, by 2010 he is going to wash his hands and pass the decadent baton to one whose reputation is even worse. by the way, do you hear him talk about islam hadhari anymore?
    meantime, while malaysia burns he is fiddling with his thumbs.

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 4:26 pm

    MRR2 is just one of the many cashcows or ATMs for privileged people to repeatedly ask the BN government for large sum of RM to repair. Juicy gravy train! Otherwise how to live in big bangalows, drive expensive imported cars, take holidays overseas, send children to study overseas, and guarantee kaya-raya for the next 7 generations?

  16. #16 by badak on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 5:00 pm

    So what.. if RM70 was spent on repairs.So what if thousand of man hours is wasted in traffic jam.So what if cars was damaged by falling debries.It is just that the person or persons in charge of the project is stupid.
    This kind of things will keep on happening,Give another 2 weeks all is forgotten.Tomorrows news paper head lines will be on DSAI case .This MMR2 SCANDAL will be forgotten like so many others.

  17. #17 by Loh on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 5:42 pm

    Sorry off topic.

    ///This left me in a quandary. As head of the Government I had to ensure the success of the NEP objective of reducing the disparities between the bumiputeras and the non-bumis. This reduction must be achieved at all levels, not excluding the rich and the very rich. It wouldn’t do to have parity among the low income and middle income only, while big businesses are all in the hands of the non-Bumiputera millionaires.///—TDM in

    I registered with and was invited to comment on the web. But when I click on the link, I am asked to register again, and it goes on.

    The problem of the NEP where the rich becomes richer especially among the Malays is because of the policy as stated by TDM that “This reduction {in economic disparity} must be achieved at all levels, not excluding the rich and the very rich”. NEP had the twin objectives of poverty alleviation and not linking race to economic activities. It never mentioned that big business cannot be all in the hands of any person, race or religion.

    It is because government considered it proper to intervene rather than to allow Malay businesses to grow big when they are efficient and competitive, they have chosen the only short cut to put public funds in the pockets of private persons, so long that they are Malays. Of course the persons who had the power would choose whoever he wanted to be the very rich bumiputras-billionaires. It would be corruption to allow public funds to be in the pockets of private citizens, and allowing government funds to support the creation of multi-billionaires is against ACA rules. But when the PM decides in the name of the Cabinet that it was the objective of the government to do so in the name of NEP, even though it was not provided as the official NEP objectives, then corruption is legalized.

    TDM had clearly added policies not envisaged by NEP as part of it, and he refused to end NEP in 1990 after it has been implemented for one generation as promised by Tun Razak. TDM is now more concern to justify his action and to refute that he practiced cronyism when he was the person who decided who should be the beneficiaries to become very rich Malays. TDM claimed that the Malays who are superrich businessmen were themselves successful to be where they are. Of course TDM pretends not to understand that rewards have to be commensurate with efforts, and he had been playing God in choosing who should be over compensated for the efforts they put in. He disturbed the basic justice of one reaps what he sows.

    May 13 was not a spontaneous act of violence out of jealousy and poverty, much less because of disparity in the collective wealth of different communities. Razak government used the excuse of economic inequality to push through NEP firstly to show that he cared for Malays more than Tunku, and secondly to ensure that he kept the vote banks for UMNO, and him as President.

    TDM hijacked NEP policies to make sure that there are very rich Malays, and that could number in hundreds and not millions. But to make the few hundreds very rich, the tens of millions have to subsidize the hundreds of Malay superrich candidates. Yes these few superrich Malays would make TDM very proud. Was he a racist to feel proud that his Malay cronies are very rich? Was it an excuse so that his children can be made very rich, as part of the policy.

    Had TDM not included in NEP “This [economic disparity] reduction must be achieved at all levels, not excluding the rich and the very rich”, Petronas funds might have been better used to create a robust economic environment where Malaysians would not have to depend on oil subsidy today when they are at a higher income level.

    TDM has been a liability, and he was 22 years too late in resigning his post as PM.

  18. #18 by mobileworld on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 5:49 pm

    Another round of wasting the tax payers money. Now with the hardware cost up, it may cost us 100M. When can we have Pakatan in Govt so that all this wastage is reduced. The country is in crisis and the PM is sleeping … Who is working?

  19. #19 by limkamput on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 6:25 pm

    Why are we taking all these nonsense? This government should have fallen more than 20 years ago. See, it is still here, and there not a damn thing we can do about it. We want strategies, Sdr Lim, not another post telling us what is wrong with this country.

  20. #20 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 6:29 pm

    Ah, Samy Vellu.

    He’s been missing from the public light that some of us miss his daily antics. Life is not the same since he left the scene.

    Hope to see and hear more of you soon, Samy. Entertain us.

  21. #21 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 9:44 pm

    Didn’t somebody say perbelanjaan berhemah ? Malaysians, part of your spendings go into repair once, repair twice, repair thrice ???

  22. #22 by The Enforcer on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 10:04 pm

    What Semi Value meant was the construction then the repair of MRR2 would last 100 weeks and not years lah!
    Another ‘dairy cow’ has been brought in for ‘milking’ by the GOONS!
    That’s why sampai mati will they try to cling on to power irrespective even if they have to sell their mothers!

  23. #23 by badak on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 10:53 pm

    Limkambut… As long as MIC MCA PPP GERAKAN is in BN no matter what sdr LIM or DSAI do, BN will always rule the country.With the police and EC doing the dirty work for UMNO what chance is there for DAP and PKR.
    Even if the opposition gets 70% of the popular votes they still can,t win at the federal level.

  24. #24 by nus on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 11:35 pm

    This road almost killed me years ago. I was going to Kepong from Sg Buloh. After passing the flyover at TTDI/Sri Damansara Junction I came to a problem go straight (UPRAMP) or take the left turn (LEVEL). Previously going from Sg Buloh to Kepong is an easy straight road no problem. Now if I go straight THAT IS keeping right I go up the RAMP that is really a LEFT TURN onto the NEW MRR2. This is not a good design. This reminds me of

    1. The FAST LANE RIGHT UPRAMP turning right to Taman Rahman Putra if travelling from Kepong to Sg Buloh. How can divert traffic away from the highway from the right fast overtaking lane . This ramp support pillars cause day crawls below it during the morning and evening peak hours.

    2. The same thing at LDP turning from Jalan Damansara to SS2. Now there is a major works to flyover from KL to Sg Buloh over this “wrong” flyover.

    3. Years ago another fast lane UPRAMP out from Jalan Kuching from KL to Jalan Sultan Ismail. In the morning jams any back up into the fast lane may cause a serious accident.

    4. Another new Fast Lane UPRamp out is at Jalan Lornie opposite RTM from KL. This new ramp goes to the Pantai Highway. Vehicles going to PJ would have to swerve left to avoid going up the ramp. I have noted so far two knocks by vehicles onto the left nose of the ramp. This is wrong and dangerous construction and have to be dismantled as soon as possible before more accidents occur. More so because this is just after a corner so drivers are not aware. After these accidents a sign has come up but the danger is still there because of inherent wrong placement of ramp.

    Continue with my story the poor and messy signboards did not help me after I took the left level exit. I had to make awkward manourve to turn right and then left to get onto the old Kepong Road. The cars behind honked at me.

    There should not be any ramp out at the fast lane.

    I have also travelled on the MRR2 later and found that the 60 kph signs during the 3 serious repairs are still there. The authorities should replace them with 90 kph as this is a dual carriage 3 lane highway.

  25. #25 by StevePCH on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 - 11:58 pm

    ACA… do your job ! else you will also end up like the rest of the conspiracy gang. Samy should answer to this flaw.

    nus is right at the point. it also reveals Works Ministry’s stupidity in approving the design. then one idiot copy another’s, this is what you get. “Quality” problem.

  26. #26 by Kathy on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 7:03 am

    RM70 million to repair a “new” bridge and now how much more do we need to cough up from our tax payers money to finance these repairs???? Get Samy Vellu to pay for it – it is from his time that this project started.

    This is the so-call Malaysian quality – tak cukup standard.

  27. #27 by bumi-non-malay on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 7:36 am

    The infrastructure of EVERYTHING is crumbling…..its a wonder why Malaysian still have not exited the KLSE Stocks, Move money to foreign banks……

    alas but forgetful Malaysian will be mersmerised by the current Olympic telecast and forget about the Dangerous CHAOS currently happening in Malaysia!!

  28. #28 by Godfather on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 8:40 am

    This goes beyond Semi Value. The contractor now has an even much bigger privatisation contract in the south. This is Mahathir’s vision of the NEP – when a bumi company fails, give that company an even bigger contract. If it fails again, give it some APs. Turn millions into billions.

  29. #29 by laufuzhe28 on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 10:40 am

    Please note the following on MRR2;
    1.Sukmin Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Kontraktor Melayu and Bumi Hiway Sdn Bhd were the contractors, involved in building the RM238.8 million highway (Package 11)
    2. The package has so far incurred an additional RM70 million in repairs.
    3. Past reports by minister concerned said that the repair cost would be borne by the contractors
    Wouldn’t this be of interest to the rakyat that what’s the profit margin for the contractors if the “todate” repair costs incurred is about 1/3 that of contract cost?

  30. #30 by 318 on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 1:05 pm

    in Malaysia this BI

    in Malaysia the contractors sure to make money if they tender gomen project cos they can make a claim even it is CBJ

  31. #31 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 2:00 pm

    Another good example of another failed Barisan Nasional Project to burden the Rakyat instead of providing the convenience to the Rakyat!!!

    Now all of us know why Semi Value was not awarded with Tunship after retirement after “contributing” so many years in the cabinet as Works Minister!!!

    Malaysia will be making a world history by getting into the Guiness World Records with the highest no. of RCI formed to look into scandals!!! Another feather on the cap of BN govt!!!

  32. #32 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 2:11 pm

    When a BUMI or crony’s company failed in a project and incurred losses of million if not billion ringgits, the BN govt is very happy as it shows that they have succeeded in channelling that amount of money to these companies, so it is very beneficial to them and good for the economy and Rakyat!!! A new economic theory which surpass all understandings!!! US should learn from Malaysia as Malaysia does not have recession but US does!!! Got it!!!

  33. #33 by i_love_malaysia on Thursday, 7 August 2008 - 2:29 pm


    It is timely to table a law to fine the Minister and the coalition, party that he belongs to, a certain percentage of the amount of money that the ministry loss so that the coalition or party will force them to resign before the coalition or party becomes bankrupt because of too many cases of losses due to incompetent Leaders and Ministers!!! For eg, if RM70 million was lost, the Minister who was Semi Value, BN and MIC each has to pay 10% (a reasonable percentage could be worked out) of the amount lost, so each has to pay RM7 million rinngits for the MRR2 case!!!

  34. #34 by malar on Saturday, 9 August 2008 - 1:04 am

    Samy Velu himself can pocket out the RM7 million. He said he has many things in his head now so much so he can’t answer any questions to anyone except to a specified council only. Do you know what are the things in his head? How to dispense his ill gotten money from all the NEP (never ending projects) during his tenure as Works Minister. Samy Velu knows that BN is now concentrating on the sodomy case so this MRR2 is only a decorative word in the papers and will soon become history until again the debris hits another layman.

  35. #35 by malar on Saturday, 9 August 2008 - 1:06 am

    Sorry, Samy Velu can pocket out the RM70 million. The typing error is due to my fingers refusing to believe that our gomen can spend RM70 million for repairs

  36. #36 by Loh on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 - 10:50 am

    ///Must engaging in dialogue on religion be painful? Must it be greeted with hostility? Or is it a moot question—that the answer lies in what we failed to have done through our education system, decades ago?///

    The education would not help. UMNO leaders had given their disapproval before the forum was held. That was the signal for disruption. Chua Sui Lek said that if the police could stop thousands of demonstrators, it was strange that they could not stop 300. The three hundreds were educated people too. They understand the issue. Either they wanted to show that they cared more for the religion than the UMNO leaders or they had to make the statements of UMNO leaders relevant.

    It is politics. It is bad when race is concerned, and it become much worse when religion is tied to race.

    UMNO leaders place their political future on their appearance as champions of race and religion. They have to keep areas classified as sensitive which require their protection. Even the political had been still call himself defender of race and religion; though he could not even be called Malay before the 1957 Malaysan constitution was established.

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