Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Bersih, Cekap, Amanah - Yet Another Rip Off
How much more can this country afford to sustain a leakage like this one? According to a Malaysiakini report, there is yet another rip off in Selangor.
From what is known of the RM500 million Shah Alam Hospital project, it is estimated that as much as RM100 million could have already gone to waste.Over the last few months, we have heard enough about the PKFZ financial fiasco. It runs into billions of ringgit. The mother of all scandals makes this one looked like 'masak-masak' or tiny.
However, imagine what RM100 million can do for poorly maintained schools, public amenities or providing low cost housing for the needy ones?
The Shah Alam hospital project was awarded to newcomer Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd. According to the news portal report, Sunshine Fleet is owned by the Selangor sultan's sister, Tengku Putri Arafiah ibni Sultan Abd Aziz Shah (70%), her son Putera Azamuddin Shah bin Abdul Aziz (10%), and her uncle Tengku Abdul Samad Shah ibni Sultan Salahuddin Abd Aziz Shah (20%).
Funny, it appears that huge public contracts are mainly awarded to those who are already affluent or politically well-connected. Is this the real motive of NEP? What about poverty eradication?
This appears to be another "Ali Baba" transaction.
Sunshine Fleet awarded full construction of the hospital to sub-contractor Isyoda (M) Sdn Bhd, an ailing construction firm. Based on documents received by Malaysiakini, the sub-contract deal was for RM451 million, leaving Sunshine Fleet to pocket an immediate RM31 million.
On top of that, Isyoda was expected to pay a portion - as much as RM46 million - of the RM451 million to Sunshine Fleet as the work progressed, when payments were periodically issued by the Public Works Department (PWD).
How is the deal being financed? Right out form the public's pocket. Although initially announced as costing “about RM300 million”, the eventual contract has come to be worth a whopping RM482 million - a mark-up of RM182 million.
Isyoda got into a financial trouble and had to pull out from the project. In came another Ali Baba. In February this year, another sub-contractor GM Healthcare Sdn Bhd (GMH) took over the construction. Industry insiders said the construction firm came to Sunshine Fleet's rescue by helping to pay off Isyoda.
GMH is also beginning to suffer from the huge amounts of advances and expenses demanded by the turnkey contractor, Sunshine Fleet.
Sound familiar? This nightmare is repeating everywhere around the country. Imagine how many more abandoned public projects or those suffering from cost overrun are facing the same problem.
Who are the ones suffering from these unscrupulous and irresponsible companies? Malaysians. Taxpayers.
No wonder, this government is so busy building more corridors, more industrial parks and other things. More projects and privatisation initiatives mean more (public) money to be distributed to their cronies.
NEP, my foot! The next time Muhyiddin lectures us about patriotism and nationalism, tell him to teach those like Sunshine Fleet first. Loving this country means respecting its resources. But companies like Isyoda and GMH are not faultless too. Greed kills. Companies should go for 'clean' projects.