Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Matrade Building - Monument To Greed And Corruption.

Doesn't it piss you off? Reading about the way these crooks have gotten away scot free with our money in the Matrade building controversy? Every now and then we are told of this company or that concern, due to its incompetence, has gone bust or disappeared leaving behind unpaid bills for taxpayers to settle; and settle we have been doing. In the billions. All in the name of helping the bumis to make it in the business world. Pray tell me how this kind of hanky panky helps anybody?

In the case of this building it all started when the contract was given to Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB) a subsidiary company of Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), an investment company of the Selangor government. (I don't know if it is just me, but I get really suspicious whenever 'Selangor government' is mentioned - along the way somehow I've mentally linked them to corruption and other unsavoury things. Don' ask me why, maybe its got something to do with Toyo's face!). According to the NST: 'The project was nine years late and more than RM100 million over budget, making it a symbol of poor bumiputera construction skills, government inefficiency and possibly even corruption. The final bill for the 24-storey tower was RM287 million. The original estimate had been RM167 million.' That dear readers is RM120 million above the original estimate. If we had given this to some Chinaman he would have completed it on time, within the budget and still made millions in profit! Vive le difference!

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said, "the ministry will get the opinion of the Attorney-General. Although the company no longer exists, we will go to the court and take action against the directors. They cannot just run away and not take responsibility." Oh yes, sure.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz expressed regret that her ministry had to bear heavy losses as a result of the delay. Matrade, apart from having to rent elsewhere, also lost out in terms of opportunity cost. Total rental earnings forgone from the building's exhibition space was an estimated RM120mil, the equivalent of building another 24-storey building, she added. As a client, Rafidah said, she was disappointed and wanted the Works Ministry to not only take action against the former PISB directors but also look into the probability of any irregularities during the tender process. (The Star)

Good point Kak Fidah - any irregularities during the tender process? When the government gives out contracts to not the best or the deserving but on the basis of connection and birthright, that itself is the biggest irregularity that even she is guilty of. Come on!! First the government institutionalizes favoritism, backs that by legislation, crows about it at every party meeting and then when things go terribly wrong, voila! pull out the irregularity card. You can't have it both ways kak, not you or anyone in government.

However what we the people want is apart from knowing 'how the contract was awarded, who certified its earlier poor workmanship, who should be blamed and who should get the final bill for the cost overruns'(NST), is an assurance from the government that this sort of financial atrocity does not recur in the name of empowering or enabling the bumis. Most bumis are probably appalled by the whole affair.

Epilogue: A year or two will pass, the Matrade building, that symbol of 'all that is wrong with our policies' will still be there looking at you and perhaps over you at some other monument to greed and corruption growing over the horizon and even then I'm sure this same mantra of dismay, shock and consternation will be spouted. When will we ever learn?

3 Comments:

Blogger gursharan said...

MATRADE Finally completed because of personal attention of the YAB PM. Next could be the Kuching Prisons Project that was personaly highlighted by the PM but status is still not known due to silence by involved parties.

What about the other thousands of abandoned or delayed projects all over Malaysia that have been regularly highlighted by the TV and News media and valued at billons.

YAB PM should create another ministerial post to be incharge of MONITORING the implementation of Projects for which funds for implementation are provided to Federal, State, Statutory/Local Authorities and GLC [including their Subsidiaries/Associate Companies]. The Minister for Monitoring should provide regular quarterly Status Reports of these Projects. Otherwise the current situation will be repeated by the end of 9MP.

It may be noted that there are abandoned/delayed projects that were instituted in the earlier Plans and remains so. Salaries & Perks revised but quality of service largely remains the same.

In the name of Good Governance and Transparency the 'Status Report' copy should be extended to the media for public knowledge. This would ensure Accountability. YAB PM's Vision of Preventing Fraud and Corruption will be realised.

KIV 2010

3:42 PM GMT+8  
Blogger gursharan said...

MATRADE Finally completed because of personal attention of the YAB PM. Next could be the Kuching Prisons Project that was personaly highlighted by the PM but status is still not known due to silence by involved parties.

What about the other thousands of abandoned or delayed projects all over Malaysia that have been regularly highlighted by the TV and News media and valued at billons.

YAB PM should create another ministerial post to be incharge of MONITORING the implementation of Projects for which funds for implementation are provided to Federal, State, Statutory/Local Authorities and GLC [including their Subsidiaries/Associate Companies]. The Minister for Monitoring should provide regular quarterly Status Reports of these Projects. Otherwise the current situation will be repeated by the end of 9MP.

It may be noted that there are abandoned/delayed projects that were instituted in the earlier Plans and remains so. Salaries & Perks revised but quality of service largely remains the same.

In the name of Good Governance and Transparency the 'Status Report' copy should be extended to the media for public knowledge. This would ensure Accountability. YAB PM's Vision of Preventing Fraud and Corruption will be realised.

KIV 2010

3:43 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:14 AM GMT+8  

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