Thursday, November 23, 2006

Who's Who in Maya Maju

Ahirudin Attan of Rocky'Bru's blogged: Not Khairy's Maya?

Thanks to Rocky, he mentioned CTSB in his article and that sends hundreds of his fans visiting CTSB.

Rocky posed some questions pertaining to the New Istana Negara Project as announced by Datuk Seri Samy Vellu. In The Star reported on 14th November, the headline says:
New, bigger Istana Negara

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said work on the new Istana Negara, to be built on a 96.52ha site atop a hill, will start next June and was slated for completion in 2009 which would cost the government RM400mil. However, no one heard of any tender being published and it had to be presumed that it was a negotiated turnkey-design-and-built project.

Kumpulan Seni Reka Sdn Bhd has was mentioned as the appointed project architect and Maya Maju Sdn Bhd was named as the building contractor.

Many people, including Rocky wanted to know who the hell is Maya Maju Sdn Bhd. Names like Syed Mokhtar's MMC & IJM, UEM, Peremba, Tan Sri Talha's and Lin Yung Lin's Gamuda, Roadbuilders (now SM's IJM owned), Ahmad Zaki's AZRB, Tan Sri Abu Sahid's Maju Holding Bhd, Salleh Sulong's DRB (now belongs to SM), Ranhill's Hamdan, YTL, Pak Adib's Arena Engineering, Tan Sri's SNA, and so on, they are familiar to most of us - they are the King-pin of the Malaysian construction industry. But Maya Maju? Who's that? Who owns it and what's it's track record?

Some time ago, we heard of Bank Negara awarding a RM320 million contract to buid a resource centre to a little known privately-held company, H & I Niaga Sdn Bhd. The award surprised major construction companies which had been bidding for the large project, like Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd, PECD Bhd, Ranhill Bhd and UEM Builders Bhd.

H & I Niaga was involved in the problematic project involving the construction of the Royal Malaysian Navy Recruit Training Centre in Kota Tinggi Johor. They are also the contractor for Cheras Velodrome Project and some projects awarded by UiTM. NST BizTimes reported that the company had failed to pay levy owed to CIDB. The company had also failed to submit its profit and loss accounts for the past 3 years to Companies Commission Malaysia and had failed to file its accounts for the financial years ending December 31, 2002 to 2004.

H & I Niaga later issued a two-page statement to answer point-by-point all the issues raised by the Press and the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations. The company said while it was involved in building the Royal Malaysian Navy Recruit Training Centre in Johor, it was not involved in the construction of the defective roof structure of the hall complex.

H & I Niaga went on to say reports of it being reprimanded by government ministers over the Cheras Velodrome project were also untrue as it had completed its job to upgrade and renovate the facility within the stipulated time and had even been given letters of appreciation for the job. The company also answered Fomca’s query on its failure to file its accounts for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

H & I Niaga said it had run into technical difficulties in 2003 causing a two-year delay in the of filing its profit and loss accounts. H & I Niaga clarified that they had since resolved the problem and has submitted the company’s audited accounts for the years 2002 and 2003 to CCM, while the final accounts for the financial year ended December 31 2004 have been audited and are pending submission. With regard to the payment of levy to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), H & I Niaga said they will resolve the issue before October 25 as allowed for by CIDB.

Coming back to Maya Maju, the market had been abuzz with talk that Maya Karin, the pontianak actress who was recently rumoured to be romantically linked to Khairy Jamaluddin, the PM's son-in-law, and also rumoured to be using Hishamuddin's supplementary platinum card (this is another rumours). It was insinuated that Maya was behind the project to build a new national palace (some kind of payment in kind for service rendered). Some said that a top official from Khazanah Nasional, the government's investment arm, is advising this little-known company. I repeat: this is pure rumours and don't believed it.


Checks with the ROC revealed that Maya Maju Sdn Bhd registered shareholders are Mr Ko Chin Teck (RM15,000 shares), Mr Lo Sin Li (RM85,000 shares). The directors are Ko and En Mohamad Muslim Hamzah (Mohamad Muslim do not owned any shares). Maya Maju Sdn Bhd Company No: 252091-T. The financial statement as at 31st Dec 1993 (as shown in RoC records) indicates Fixed Assets valued at RM82,655.00 and Current Assets at RM415,169.00 and Current Liabilities at RM456,501.00.

I believed that the company may have changed it's name to Maya Maju (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd as the published accounts at RoC is recorded up to 1993 (I can be wrong).

There is another company, Maya Maju (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, registered with the RoC (Co Reg No: 254750-T). Here, there are 2 shareholders and 5 directors. The 5 Director are: Datuk Haji Man Bin Mat (rings your ear?), Md Nizam B. Md Sharif (rings your ear?), Rasidah Bt. Salleh, Lim Hooi Mooi (secretary), and Tan Enk Purn (secretary). The shareholders are: Maryna Keh Abdullah @ Miss Keh Kim Lan (RM1,450,000 shares) and Man B. Mat (RM3,550,000 shares).

Did it sounds interesting to you? Analyze the Shareholders, the Directors and secretaries???

So, Maya isn't Maya Karin; it's Maryna, the wife of ...

The company financial statement as at 31st Dec 2005: Current Asset RM4,899,225 (must be made up of the paid up capital injection) and Current Liabilities is RM48,794.00 (operating liability). Operating Revenue is RM0.00, profit before taxation is -$2,154.00 (negative) and losses is RM60,686.00. It is observed that the business is dormant or non-operational up till Dec 2005.

But why have 5 Directors, two Chinese company secretary, when the shareholders are 100% Bumis? Don't guess! It's against UMNO Malay Agenda. However, without the king-paymasters behind, the Bumis can get the project but can't pay and financed the implementation of the project; even the performance bond of 5% contract sum would amount to RM20 million. The rule of the thumb is that contractors will need at least 20% working capital and at least another 30% cash flow as this is a design-and-built project (that is approx RM100 mil). I was even told that the proposed project was a some kind of payment-in-kind, that is, contractor to built the Istana and in return will not receive money but a substantial piece of prime land worth a lot. I can't confirm it.

But the directors' names rings your ear and you can continue from here to do the research.

No insinuation please, and it could be seditious. Read what the DPM said today:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Maya wins New Istana Negara Project

The Star had decided that Dr Amer Hamzah Mohd Yunus is now the New Director-General of Public Works Department (JKR).

In today's new, The Star wrote:

[Quote] Public Works Department director-general Dr Amer Hamzah Mohd Yunus said only 28ha would be developed into the new Istana Negara complex while the rest would be a garden area. [Unquote]

But the current D-G of JKR is Datuk Seri Professor Dr Wahid Omar!

Is it a mistake or was it intentional?

Prof Dr Wahid Omar is overseas. Dr Amer can only be an Acting D-G unless Samy Vellu had unilaterally decided to appoint a new D-G without the need to follow the General Orders and procedures and directed The Star to make the announcement.

Coming back to the news, the new, bigger Istana Negara will cost RM400mil and will replace the current Istana which was built in 1928.

The new Istana Negara to be built on a 96.52ha site atop a hill is expected to start work in June 2007 and slated for completion in 2009.

Upon completion of the new Istana, the present building may become a royal museum.

Kumpulan Seni Reka Sdn Bhd has been appointed the architect for the new palace and Maya Maju Sdn Bhd as the building contractor.

Maya Maju? Who's Maya Maju?

Maya? Sounds familiar?

Wait for further information. Doing research now.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Johor Sultan backs Mahathir's Cynic Bridge Project

What? What did he say?

Tear down Causeway!!!

To the shock of the 2,000 people present and hundreds of thousands of viewers at home of the live telecast over RTM 1 and TV3, the Ruler said it was built by colonialists who had used dirty tactics to deceive his ancestors.

He said the building of the Causeway was to deliberately prevent ships from passing local waters, resulting in the development of Keppel Port in Singapore instead.

“The Causeway has to be removed to allow ships to pass,” the Sultan said before launching the multi-billion SJER.

"Causeway tu, bukakan...baru negeri Johor ni maju (the causeway has to be demolished, only then Johor will develop," the Sultan said before launching the project which was televised live.

At this juncture, the audience broke into laughter and applauded.

The Sultan said he would not “give face” (bagi muka) to the foreigners (Mat Sallehs) and urged the people not to hold them in high regard.

He also reminded locals and their children to be wary of them as they were “vultures”.


Whose face is most hurt?

Didn't they said the Sultan Johor ask Mahathir to stop maing noise?

It doesn't looks like it. It is obvious from the latest evidence that the Sultan was upset over the scrapping of the crooked bridge.

I believe the Sultan used this occasion, an occasion that is to parade the Federal govt's effort in supporting Johor's development.

Since the State and Federal govt is planning RM382 billion worth of projects, wouldn't it had delighted the Sultan? Instead, the Sultan wanted the causeway to be demolished. It's like saying: "I don't care the RM382 billion shit; get the causeway out of my way, and I'll be happy."

Is it a slap in the face for Ghani and Pak Lah? They were there to hear him out, face to face.

The Singapore Foreign Ministry described the Sultan's remark as "curious".

A ministry spokesman said in a Channel NewsAsia (CNA) report that Singapore did not believe the call represented the Malaysian government's position.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said:

"I think the most important thing is for us to put the speech and comment in its proper context. I think what is most important is that we must always learn from the lessons of the past and make sure whatever development we are going to undertake will bring benefit to our well-being, for the good of our people."

What is Hamid Albar saying? Don't bother about the remarks? But the remarks is made is such a big occasion; it was intentional!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

JKR Unable to carry out project?

Pak Lah said:

"We, in the Cabinet have decided that if JKR (Public Works Department) is unable to carry out a project, we will let other contractors help out. There are many other possible methods. Interested parties should submit their proposals. We will select the best in terms of quality and pricing."

JKR unable to carry out a project? OMG, JKR, how is it that such a big institution with thousands of engineers and hundreds of Pengarah, with 100 years of background experience, you are not capable or unable to carry out a project? I don't see the reason unless it's JANGAN KERJA RAJIN or JAGA KAKI ROMPAK!

JKR, and all the engineers, do you have other reasons?

Was it JKR's fault?

Was it JKR's fault too?

2 weeks have passed, yet many still waiting!!!!

Computer Lab fiasco & Matrade Building; Was it JKT's fault?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cynic Bridge Compensation

Bridge claim worked out

Samy Vellu said the PWD had studied the claims by Gerbang Perdana and had decided on an appropriate quantum. Asked whether the quantum sought was reasonable, he said the PWD was always stringent with claims for compensation and required justification from contractors.

Gerbang Perdana had submitted claims totalling RM360mil for the cancellation of the project.

“We don’t give in easily as it is the people’s money. We must be careful in making our evaluation and only when we feel that their (contractors’) request is fair do we decide on their claims,” he said.

He said the Finance Ministry would have the final say as to how much the Government would pay Gerbang Perdana.

From my information, the PWD's claim experts had recommended less than RM10 million compensation. I just wonder how the treasury would award the compensatory damages. The question arise:

Has the PWD officers been reasonable in their assessment and would the Treasury and the minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop be far gracious to the "special ones"?

We will wait ... I just smell rats? Is it in PWD office or Treasury's office? em!!!!

Monday, October 2, 2006

PM: Pay as Contracted

PM wants government to make prompt payment for services and goods

Monday October 2, 2006

The Star Online

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants Ministries, departments and agencies to make payment for services and goods provided to them without delay.

The Prime Minister has also ordered the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) to issue reminders to the ministries and departments to make the payment as soon as possible.

“I want payments for goods and services provided to the Government be paid expeditiously. Do not wait any longer.

"If the goods had already been supplied and services has been provided to us, then there is no reason to delay payment.

“A contract is a form of promise and if the other party has carried out their part of the deal, then we should carry out ours, which is to pay them for their services,” he told staff of the Prime Minister’s Department at its monthly gathering here on Monday.

The Prime Minister said in Islam, it was important that responsibility be carried out and promises be kept, adding that fulfilling one’s part of the contract was viewed seriously by the religion.

He said delay in payments would not benefit the Government which did not want unpaid bills to pile up, making payment a problem.

“If we do not pay, a lot of people will suffer.

"Workers will not get paid, banks will not be paid for the loans issued and suppliers could not supply construction materials because of they get paid late.

“This will cause anger and dissatisfaction against the Government.

"Therefore, I want to remind ministries, department and agencies to expedite payments and I want the central agencies to remind them on this,” he said.

Cakap boleh serupa bikin kah?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Samy wants Blow-job on Contractors

Samy Vellu is frustrated with the increasing number of abandoned projects and shoddy work by contractors, and he has decided to put people power into service.

The public will be invited to become the eyes and ears of the Works Ministry to prevent hanky-panky and reduce costs arising from the need to revive abandoned projects and repair slipshod work.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said this would be part of a code of ethics and a performance-appraisal system for contractors likely to be implemented next year.

He said it was aimed at preventing abuse of government projects.

The public could contact the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) if they felt things were amiss with any government construction project.

Contractors will also have to sit for integrity courses design and conducted by CIDB.

"These are drastic measures. Once implemented, the code of ethics and appraisal system will have to be adhered to by contractors and CIDB will be the monitoring them.

Can we trust CIDB?

So far, since the inception, CIDB had done nothing tangible to help the contractors who had paid billions of dollars of contributions to them.

What they had done is to collect the 0.25% taxes from the contractors, organise some seminars for contractors of which the contractors who attended had to pay for it again, register workers and label them which cost the contractor another $360 per worker (tho' CIDB said they only charge $150 per pax, but I asked all the contractors, they said there is associated type of fees to be paid to runners).

Tan Sri Wan Rahman, since retiring from JKR as the D-G, and appointed as chairman of CIDB for more than a decade, he should have retired and exited and not cause us more pain and cost. The new CEO, Datuk Hamzah, he seems to be doing something ... but not visible till today. There is a lot of talk, no action (NATO). I observed, that he may be surrounded by what Zam called: Crony system propagators who had no certified credentials to prove but are good talkers and commercialmen. These talkers had done some jobs for CIDB, like (cut-and-paste) research papers on project management, which was dump into the dustbin and of which had cost CIDB some $150,000. There were some seminars orgainised by CIDB on the use of Microsoft Project Scheduling, and Bar Charts (Gantt Charts) were produced without the Critical Path Network (CPM).

Is Hamzah facing problem with his chairman or others, or being crowded with false prophets of project management? Only he can answer.

But CIDB till today, has nobody within, who can claim they had the project management knowledge competency ... CIDB had lobbied to the govt and was thus mandated to certify project managers but they themselves are not even certified by international project management bodies. Would they be brave enough to get themselves certified by PMI, AIPM, APM, or any reputable project management institutions worldwide?

Could CIDB make themselves relevant?

Datuk Hamzah, can you do it?

or do we wait for the next generation of Mat Rempit to do it?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JKR Sarawak to be Revamped

16th August 2006, Eastern Times

Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud said three state government departments including JKR (PWD) will be revamped soon for greater efficiency and accountability.

According to the chief minister, previously every piece of government work was done by JKR and the work done was according to specifications and the estimated cost. But with more of the projects given out to the private sector, JKR supervision becomes superficial and it is crucial that the government’s interest is protected through contract management.

Taib stressed that the government must have an effective machinery to protect its interest while ensuring all the proposed development projects were well planned and evaluated in terms of costs.

Taib suggested that JKR have its own team of legal officers who were experienced enough to access and ensure work supervision and specification were rigidly adhered to. He said the interest of the government must be protected. He added that fewer junior engineers would be required after JKR was revamped. Instead more experienced senior engineers would be needed for certain specific works.

Engineers in JKR must be able to understand contractual terms and conditions and the risks involved such as loss and expense claims, Extension of Time (EOT) evaluation and the consequences of failure to grant a fair and reasonable EOT. Apart from this, engineers must also understand their fiduciary duries and implications of certification of payment, Liquidated Ascertained Damages (How and when to issue Certificate of Non-Completion and what condition precedent before deduction of LAD), How and when to issue Certificate of Practical Completion, Defects Liability Management and when to issuance of CMGD ( and consequences of failure to issue defect list within the period stipulated), Legal implications relating to Final Accounts, disputes and valuations of Variation Orders (differences between lump sum contract, Unit-rates contract and Design-built contracts), Remeasurements, Lump Sum Contract applications and legal aspects relating to variation omissions, duties and responsibilities of engineers and consulting engineers, how and when to issue engineers' instruction and the implications arising thereof, in particular, loss and expense claims, delay in possession of site and damage claims, acts of prevention to completion, breach of contract and breach of reciprocal promise, the application of Contracts Act 1950 and the Common Law of UK, Standard Forms of Contract, exclusion clauses, etc.

Do they already know? Do general legal advisors know? Will they be able to advice competently? There's a saying: Lawyers are those who pass the law exam; not necessarily adequately competent in the knowledge of construction contracts and dispute management.

What about JKR Semenanjung, Malaysia???

Will the tide comes? En Adib, what do you think?

P/S Thanks James!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

MRR2 Re-Open to Light Traffic

MRR2 reopens to light traffic

Light vehicles can now use the Kepong stretch of the Middle Ring Road II (MRR2), closed in March for repairs to structural defects.

Two lanes opened on both sides at 2pm yesterday but the third – the fast lane – would remain close for structural reinforcement works.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who visited the site yesterday, said these lanes, however, would be closed every weekend from 10pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday.

He said the Public Works Department was also repairing a stretch on the MRR2 between the bus stop near the Manjalara junction and the access road to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia near Taman Indah Perdana.

Samy Vellu said repair works on the MRR2 was 70% complete and “progressing smoothly without any delay.”

“Preliminary pier crosshead reinforcement work on all the pillars has been completed. This is to allow light vehicles (below 2.1m in height) to ply the MRR2,” he said.

“Further structural reinforcement work is being done on all pier crossheads and is expected to be completed by the end of November.”

Samy Vellu assured motorists that the MRR2 was now safe and “above the international standard safety benchmark.”

On the RM52.85mil interchange linking the new Sungai Buloh Hospital to the North-South Expressway, he said he expected it to be opened to traffic from Aug 14.

Samy Vellu also said repairs to the Sierra Mas bridge in Sungai Buloh, damaged by floods recently, were set to be completed by the end of this month, and the bridge would be opened on Sept 1.

He also said the Government has approved RM110mil for the repair and upgrading of more than 300 bridges nationwide.

“Some bridges need major repairs while some minor ones.”

NST Report: MRR2 reopens and it's 'safer than ever'

Samy Vellu said the cost of repairs was still being calculated although earlier estimates had pegged it at RM40 million. Contractor Bumihighway, which built the initial stretch, is paying for the repairs.

Structural reinforcement is being done on all pier crossheads and is expected to be completed by the end of November.

The MRR2 was closed for the first time for three months from Aug 8, 2004, and reopened in November last year.

The decision to close the stretch for a second time came after cracks were discovered and a study by independent consultant, Halcrow Group Limited of Britain, found cracks on 31 of the 33 pillars of the flyover.

The company said a design flaw and improper anchorage of the crossbeams on the concrete columns were to blame.

Repairs to the 1.7km stretch included water-proofing and installing metal braces as recommended by Halcrow.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Cynic $360 Million Claim

Gerbang Perdana’s claim balloons to RM360mil

The controversial RM100mil compensation sought by Gerbang Perdana Selatan Bersepadu Sdn Bhd for the cancellation of the Johor half-bridge project has shot up to RM360mil.

Samy Vellu said the contractor “has asked for all sorts of compensations” which the ministry could not entertain. “I have directed Public Works Department director-general Datuk Dr Wahid Omar to conduct an investigation into the claims,” Samy Vellu said.

“Everything will be done like an Anti-Corruption Agency probe. I have instructed Dr Wahid not to be afraid of anybody and do what he thinks is right, and to report only to me.”

He said Gerbang Perdana had been given until July 11 to provide all the documents to justify their claims. Gerbang Perdana had been given a RM470mil highway project in return.

Samy Vellu said it was “much less than what they asked for”. “I can't tell the amount. What we have seen from documents, payments made, cheques and personalities (involved), everything has been checked and that’s how we know the quantum. It is not RM360mil.”

Samy Vellu said that if Gerbang Perdana failed to produce all the documents by the deadline, the ministry would submit its proposed quantum to the Prime Minister and Cabinet for approval. “If they fail to submit all the documents, we will decide that they will not get any compensation or just a little.”

$360 million dollar claim for loss and expense? Original contract value is $740 million? Wow, about 50% of contract sum? Kaya lah!

Interestingly, Samy said: It is not so much! What does that mean? Is he saying: It should be slightly less than that, maybe, $340 or $300 million?

One for you and one for me.

Kautim Management. BTW, is Khairy and ECM Libra engaged to negotiate on behalf of Gerbang?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Govt says no more Design-Built. True or False?

The Pak Lah govt had promise that new projects would be by open tender.

But we are seeing that most of the projects are still Design-Built Turnkey contracts being awarded and many under negotiations.

Isn't it Cakap Tak Boleh Serupa Bikin?

Works Minister Samy Vellu announced yesterday that Realis Sdn Bhd had been appointed to build the single-carriageway road spanning 6.9km from Senawang-Putus in Negri Sembilan.

There are currently many projects under negotiation on Design-Built.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pay to Contractors, Got Money ah?

Pak Lah tells all government bodies to pay up to all contractors.

Got money ah? Pay, pay, where's the money...

The contractors are still waiting until now...

UM V-C Rafiah Salim asked: When is the money coming?

She is not the only one asking. Go to JKR, DID, District Offices, City Hall, Health Ministry, Education Ministry and find out whether the contractors had been paid. Ask the engineers.

See, this is an abandoned ward project at University Hospital, Selangor. The project lies between University Malaya Medical Centre’s (UMMC) Menara Timur and the surau. The Obstetric Paediatric Ward project, which started in 2002, has been abandoned since 2003. The project was supposed to provide the paediatric department with a block containing nine floors and three basement floors while the obstetric department was to get a block with four floors and three basement floors (according to the notice board for the project). The new ward was aimed at providing enough beds for patients, as there is presently an insufficient number of beds to meet demand.

Yet the project has been left alone after the base structure was completed. Datuk Rafiah Salim said the project was tendered with officials from both the Finance Ministry and the Works Ministry present with all the proper paperwork done.

“We started the project in good faith and expected the rest of the money to come because approval had been given under the 8th Malaysia Plan,” said Rafiah.

Rafiah said the funds were under the Finance Ministry's control and money had been allocated for the project to continue. But where is the money?

“It’s a lot of money, that’s why there’s a lot of interest in this project.

Independent engineer E.F. Lee said the practice of building the first part of a project was both foolish and unheard of in the construction industry. “In the industry, when you start a project, you want to finish it because a few years later, the technologies and needs may have changed and the base structure would have been outdated,” said Lee.

“Starting a project when you only have partial funds, while not illegal, is very bad planning.”

Lee said although he had not inspected the site up close, from his observation the construction looked abandoned without any mitigation or protection to the completed structures.

“By leaving it unprotected, corrosion will set in and the bars will lose strength that is critical to reinforce the concrete structure,” Lee said.

UMMC director Prof Dr Ikram Shah Ismail and UMMC associate professor and consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Prof Dr Jamiyah Hassan further clarified the situation. “The building was initiated under the 7th Malaysia Plan, with the building designed to be done in two phases because there was not enough funds in the 7th Malaysia Plan. Thus, funding for the project had to be spilled over to the 8th Malaysia Plan,” said Dr Jamiyah.

“Tender for the base structure was closed on Aug 7, 2002, and the project was undertaken and completed by the first construction company while we waited for the next part of the funding from the Finance Ministry.”

On April 22, 2004, the Finance Ministry officially told UMMC that there were not enough funds to finance the project due to the economic downturn and asked UMMC to resubmit applications for funds in the 9th Malaysia Plan instead.

Pak Lah, got money to complete this project ah?

Cakap boleh serupa bikin kah???

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

DRB wins $425 million settlement

All the time, whenever there is a claim which the government disputed, the superintendent officer and the project team representing the government, stood on hard ground.

The government represented by the superintendent officer were prepared to go to court or arbitration to remedy.

But each time, when it was to be up for hearing, the government, advised by the attorney general office, would back off and sought out of court settlement; they call it compromise. In reality, they knew they would lose, because they didn't have enough supporting documents and evidence to back up their contention; impliedly, it was an admission of wrong and admission of a breach of contract.

It's no different this time.

DRB claimed variation order works for a balooned up sum of $900 million. They got $425 million bonus; courtesy of the government.

At first the S.O. stood firm to deny the claims as frivolous and vexatious. When the time to be present at the court of arbitration, they back out and sought refuge behind a compromised solution.

Why were they prepared to pay now, and such a hefty sum?

Is it the Syed Mokhtar factor?

DRB-HICOM is now in further talks with the Government on liquidated ascertained damages and the release of performance bond. It said is hopeful and positive that this matter will also be resolved soon.

DRB-HICOM Bhd, announced yesterday that the Government has finally agreed to pay RM425 million for additional works done on the Rawang-Ipoh electrified double-tracking rail project. The settlement is for the payment of variation order and loss and expense claims for the extra works, it told Bursa Malaysia Bhd yesterday.

The Rawang-Ipoh track forms part of the national railway firm Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd's RM14 billion project to lay parallel lines from Padang Besar to Johor Baru. DRB-HICOM, which is now controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, began work on the RM2.6 billion rail project in mid-2000 and was at first given until the end of 2002 to complete the stretch. The deadline was later extended to December 2004. The group was reported to have completed about 88 per cent of the 179km stretch. In June, the Government terminated the contract with DRB and appointed UEM Builders Bhd, one of the sub-contractors of the project, to complete the unfinished portion of the project.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Matrade Fiasco

Samy Vellu finally relented; he confirmed that the government can't sue the directors of PISB as it is now insolvent.

To this, Brendan Periera had to say: Welcome to the world of Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB), the contractors who clinched the deal to build the Matrade building.

Brendan recalls the History of the Fiasco

In 1993, the PWD called for a limited tender to build the Matrade building and estimated that it would cost RM175 million and take 125 weeks to complete.

After studying the 14 bids, PWD recommended that Ireka Construction be given the job. The company promised to complete the job in 138 weeks for RM157 million. The recommendation was forwarded to the Finance Ministry and was promptly dumped.

The ministry wanted the 14 companies to re-submit their bids. But two days after it issued that directive, the Finance Ministry surprisingly ordered PWD to negotiate directly with PISB.

Why this company was given the contract still stumps the people at PWD.

From the start, there were problems. PISB obtained the development order late and it needed three extensions, delaying the completion by 686 days. When it completed 98 per cent of the project in 1999, the PWD discovered cracks in the structure and ordered PISB to carry out repairs. The contractor refused, saying that it had carried out the project according to specifications.

PWD and the Finance Ministry — now under a new minister — obtained the services of Arup Consultants. Even after the consultants concurred with PWD’s findings on the structure of the Matrade building, PISB refused to carry out remedial work.

At this point, you have to sit back, digest what has happened and ask some elementary questions.

Question number 1: Why wasn’t PISB or its directors sued in 1999 for not doing their job competently? Why wait until now to visit the possibility of taking action?

Question number 2: Were the terms of the contract so generous that the contractor could walk away without agreeing to do remedial work?

Brendan posed this question to ask: Can the money be recovered?

According to Brendan: There is a better chance of Malaysia qualifying for the 2010 World Cup than PISB paying any compensation.

And here is why: PISB was sold off to Tajuk Modal on July 19, 2004, for RM2. PISB was renamed Tajuk Construction Sdn Bhd and the latter was wound up on Jan 18 this year. In short, PISB doesn’t exist anymore. In any case, it would have been tough to go after the directors of PISB. The contract was signed with the company and unless the directors gave any personal guarantees, they would not be liable in a personal capacity.

Some options appear available to the authorities.

One: Lodge a police report, find out if the decision by the Finance Ministry was above board and pursue any wrongdoing — no matter where it leads.

Two: Urge the Selangor Government to make good the RM95 million owed to the Federal Government. After all, before it tanked, PISB was a subsidiary of the State’s investment arm. Surely, the people at Shah Alam have a moral obligation to right this obvious wrong.

Would the government learn a lesson or two from this fiasco?

Or, will history repeat itself, ...sooner rather than later?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Matrade Finally Complete?

After 9 years, and after overspending more than $120 million over and above the original budget, the project was finally completed.

A handover ceremony was held in the building in the presence of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz and Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

Rotol-AMS-Bumi Technologies Sdn Bhd, the contractor appointed to carry out the balance works had completed 39 days ahead of schedule. The appointment of new contractors to rectify the defects saw costs balloon from an initial RM167 million to RM287.51 million, with about RM64.8 million spent on repairs.

The building was finally completed by RotolAMSBumi Technologies Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pembinaan Anggerik Sdn Bhd together with NSC Mekanikal Fastcoll Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Believe it? The repair works costs $64 million and the outstanding works cost $56 million? The contractor must have made a fortune! Anyway, it was better than the previous contractor who had wallop $200 million and abandoned the project. The hardest to swallow is that the previous contractor, Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB), is owned by the Selangor Govt.

PISB was a subsidiary company of Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), an investment company of the Selangor government.

The Works Ministry plans to bring former board members of Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB) to court for the nine-year delay in completing the Matrade building.

Samy Vellu said he had personally investigated the company and its directors and all evidence gathered would be produced in the event of a court hearing.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said although the company was now defunct, the ministry would not remain silent. “Although the company no longer exists, we will go to the court and take action against the directors,” Samy Vellu said. “They cannot just run away and not take responsibility,” he said, adding that construction costs went up by 70% due to the delay.

Work on the building in Jalan Duta began in 1994 and was targeted for completion in 1997. Due to several delays and the appointment of a new contractor, the original cost of RM167mil ballooned to RM287.5mil, with RM64.8mil spent on repairs.

The original contract to PISB was terminated last March and the company ordered to pay late delivery charges of RM41,750 a day for 2,276 days.

In 2004, the shares of PISB were sold to Tajuk Modal Sdn Bhd. In July, K. Hartanah announced that the group was selling Perangsang to a company called Tajuk Modal Sdn Bhd for RM2. Perangsang had net liabilities of RM7.6mil at the end of last year.

The directors of Tajuk Modal are Chong Sang and Yap Fook Sang.

K. Hartanah said it was selling Perangsang as it was in line with the group's scheme of reconstruction, which is to divest non-core businesses, and to streamline, regroup and concentrate on its property development activities.

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. While waiting for its new building, Matrade rented premises at Wisma Sime Darby and also a small exhibition hall at Wisma PKNS in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

Matrade staff members are expected to move into the new office beginning in July.

Read the earlier article: Matrade RM167 Million Damages

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Matrade Finally Completed?

After 9 years, and after overspending more than $120 million over and above the original budget, the project was finally completed.

Rotol-AMS-Bumi Technologies Sdn Bhd, the contractor appointed to carry out the balance works had completed 39 days ahead of schedule. The appointment of new contractors to rectify the defects saw costs balloon from an initial RM167 million to RM287.51 million, with about RM64.8 million spent on repairs.

The building was finally completed by RotolAMSBumi Technologies Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pembinaan Anggerik Sdn Bhd together with NSC Mekanikal Fastcoll Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Believe it? The repair works costs $64 million and the outstanding works cost $56 million? The contractor must have made a fortune! Anyway, it was better than the previous contractor who had wallop $200 million and abandoned the project. The hardest to swallow is that the previous contractor, Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB), is owned by the Selangor Govt.

PISB was a subsidiary company of Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), an investment company of the Selangor government.

The Works Ministry plans to bring former board members of Perangsang International Sdn Bhd (PISB) to court.

Samy Vellu said he had personally investigated the company and its directors and all evidence gathered would be produced in the event of a court hearing.

“They cannot just run away and not take responsibility,” Samy said.

Are they running away? No! They are still around and those "culprits" are still managing Selangor Incorporated under the leadership of MB Khir Toyo.

Samy, will you take Khir Toyo to court? He's the chairman of Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd (KHSB), an investment company of the Selangor government of which PISB was a subsidiary company.

Even then, PISB may still win the case in court, maybe, by technicalities. The formalities of termination of the contract may be the key.

Read more here

Samy & MPPJ at War

Samy: We don’t need your approval

Is it true?

Permission from the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ) is not needed, Works Minister Samy Vellu said.

“The construction of a pedestrian bridge in Petaling Jaya is among the projects approved by the Cabinet. The Cabinet decides, not the local council,” Samy said this when asked to comment on Thursday's tiff between the MPPJ, the advertising company, Poly Dimensions Sdn Bhd, over the building of a pedestrian bridge at Section 10 in Petaling Jaya.

Poly Dimensions Sdn Bhd was given approval by the ministry to build five pedestrian bridges along the Federal Highway and federal roads in Petaling Jaya in return for advertising rights on these structures.

Samy Vellu said: “Historically, when the PWD wants to put up a building or any structure, we don't ask permission from anybody, since the PWD is the prime department and the government agency to do it.”

He said that if the PWD needed to get permission from the MPPJ for constructing the pedestrian bridge, it would take a long time.

Are we seeing a conflict between the executives and the civil servants? Or, the executives vs the local council?

Something is glaringly not right ... we are surely opening up the pandora boxes in the Paklahism era.

Mahathir must be observing attentively, watching the new LahSamy Code of Malaysia.

The newspaper called it a tiff between PWD and MPPJ.

I think it is not PWD per se. It is Samy Vellu and the Works Ministry vs MPPJ.

PWD had no part to play in this fiasco and tiff between the nutheads, and JKR may, by default, be construed as an overseer of a "private-privatised project" initiated by the Works Ministry of which JKR wasn't the authority, neither the superintendent officer of the project.

Isn't this a nice way to throw the fiasco to JKR and hold them responsible for things which they had no power to decide and of which they were never part of the decision-making and appointment process; neither is there project management, for if there is, the first and foremost requirement will be STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT, that is, to conduct a Stakeholder Analysis before the project begins.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Skill Certification is about Paying $360

Skilled workers who do not seek certification in their relevant fields risk losing out to their competitors.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said without proper certification, workers would find themselves handicapped and sidelined by their competitors.

“Times are changing and consumers are going for those whose skills were certified. This is a global trend," TK Ong said.

I don't know whether he knows what he is talking about; or, whether he is talking about some other thing.

In Malaysia, we have CIDB who certify and registers all workers' skills and competency. Each worker certified are given a "Greencard" that pronounce their skill competency.

So, why the need to have another certification?

However, I wonder how many of you Malaysian knows that, in actual fact, what CIDB does, is basically selling these "Greencard". I have thousands of construction workers who had work under me over the decade. I am clear and can confirm that each of them got the green card after paying the levy ($360) to agents of CIDB and none of them (workers) ever need to be present to demonstrate or being tested for their skills or competencies.

This is Malaysian authorities ... and this is how competencies are certified.

If you don't believe me, please go and interview all the sub-contractors who had to register their workers. Or, alternatively, ask New Straits Time to interview them. Datuk Hamzah, Tan Sri Omar, and Tan Sri Wan Abdul Rahman, please go interview sub-contractors and the workers.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Habis Scenic Bridge


Tarikh/Date : 12/04/2006

Kerajaan Malaysia telah memutuskan untuk tidak meneruskan pembinaan jambatan bagi menggantikan Tambak Johor. Keputusan Kerajaan ini dibuat setelah mengambil kira suara dan sentimen rakyat Malaysia keseluruhannya terutama berkenaan bekalan pasir dan ruang udara. Kerajaan juga membuat keputusan untuk memberhentikan semua rundingan bersabit dengan jambatan tScenic ersebut.

THE Works Ministry has ordered Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, the contractor of the “scenic bridge” meant to replace the Malaysian half of the 80-year-old Johor Causeway, to stop work immediately.

Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the Public Works Department’s director-general Datuk Dr Wahid Omar would officially inform the contractor of the government’s decision to scrap the project.


On 27th Jan 2006, DPM Najib and Samy Vellu confirmed that the bridge will be built. Samy Vellu even said work had started on a RM30 million road to link the Johor Causeway with the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex, where the proposed bridge will begin.

Najib said that work on the "scenic bridge" across half of the Johor Strait would proceed even though Singapore had yet to give an affirmative reply. However, he said, negotiations with the republic would continue.

Asked what would happen if negotiations with Singapore were not successful, Najib said: "If it is not successful, then it will become a half-bridge or scenic bridge."

Samy Vellu, meanwhile, said the bridge would be built across Malaysia’s half of the Johor Strait, within the country’s boundaries. He said he had instructed Public Works Department director-general Datuk Wahid Omar last week to issue a letter of intent to the contractor, Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, on the Government’s plan to go ahead with construction of the bridge.

The Foreign Minister (Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar) had written a letter Samy indicating the directive from the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to commence the construction of the bridge. "We will start negotiating with them on the cost of building the bridge as soon as possible. "I have asked the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, for a lump sum payment for the project. We will pay the contractor once and will not be burdened with the possibility of increasing costs. I believe I will get the approval from the Finance Ministry, and then we will start work," Samy said.

Samy Vellu said that everything was in place and work was expected to start as soon as possible.

Why the about-turn? Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin. If the reason to scrap the project is due to Singapore, then the govt shouldn't have announce the go-ahead. You can't say something yesterday and do another thing today. The contractor was told that they would receive the letter of intent and to proceed the works. They had mobilise their plants and equipments and manpower. How much do the govt had to compensate them? Isn't this a waste of public funds? That's why taxes had to increase to plug the leakages in the system administration.

Is there no competencies in decision-making? Aren't there suppose to be leadership?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MRR2 - Work Minister v JKR

That's a BULL-SHIT, Samy!

The PWD never suggested Halcrow; the former Director-General suggested.

In the first place, PWD had suggested Leonhardt Andra. When the problem of MRR 2 surfaced, the PWD Cawangan Jalan (Roadworks Department) Director was Datuk Razali and by convention, Cawangan Jalan reports directly to the Timbalan Ketua Pengarah I which was at that time under the leadership of Deputy Director-General Datuk Prof Dr Wahid. Datuk Wahid who had been consistent in his judgment and actions when interviewed by the PAC. By some political maneuver, Dr. Wahid was removed from his power-base and substituted by his junior colleague in order to fulfil the conspiracy of the power that is, and power that had been.

By God's grace, this honest engineer survived the political trauma and turmoil and by the grace of the Almighty, was blessed and promoted to the top post of D-G this year. Being the honest man that he had been, and will continue to be, irrespective of the fact that he had put his head on the chopping block for the political master to slay at his convenience, the new D-G stayed consistent to his profound knowledge and insist that 33 beams must be repaired instead of the 13 nos as suggested by Halcrow which was seen as some kind of compromise. Leonhardt Andra, one of the world reknown structural engineers will not compromise on the structural integrity; Halcrow had been seen as much accomodating to the wills of man.

Bridgex Sdn Bhd was appointed to carry out the repairs and the cost is anticipated to be approx RM40 million. The government is paying for it, as announced by Samy Vellu. The repair is in progress but the political trauma hasn't stopped. The political master wants blood; and the honest engineer may have to pay because the prime minister cannot and hasn't the power to protect honest civil servant.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Maunsell, Sharma & Zakaria sues Utusan

Civil Engineering Design Consultant, Maunsell Sharma & Zakaria, the consulting firm for the design of Ampang-KL Elevated Highway (KLT) has sued Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd for RM50mil for libel.

Maunsell Sharma & Zakaria Sdn Bhd, filed the suit at the Civil Division High Court registry at Wisma Denmark in Jalan Ampang here yesterday through their lawyer D.P. Vijandran.

In the suit, the firm claimed that the Utusan Malaysia daily had published defamatory words in two page-one articles on Feb 9 and 10.

It said the articles alleged that there were many cracks in the highway and that these were caused by flaws in the engineering design of the highway.

Apart from damages, the company is seeking an injunction, an apology, interest and costs.

Maunsell Sharma & Zakaria is also the design consultant for Middle-ring Road Two (MRR2).

Yesterday, Works Minister Samy Vellu admitted in Parliament that defective design was one of the reasons for the cracks in the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).

"The steel placement did not follow specifications," Samy said in reply to a question from Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib.

Ramli had interrupted Samy Vellu when the minister was giving a technical explanation for the cracks on the MRR2 highway in reply to questions from Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) and other MPs.

Samy Vellu said his ministry monitored bridges and flyovers but only the MRR2 was found to have "serious defects".