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Call for  parliamentary  public inquiry to ferret out the personalities and causes for the nine- year   RM200 million new Kuching Prison scandal ´┐Ż dragging from Seventh to Ninth Malaysia Plan


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Media Statement (2)

by Lim Kit Siang  
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(Parliament
, Tuesday) : The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has directed the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to ´┐Żget to the bottom´┐Ż of the nine-year RM200 million new Kuching Prison scandal, which had dragged from the Seventh Malaysia Plan to the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

 

Originally awarded to WMM Holdings Sdn. Bhd in 1997 for RM165 million, the new Kuching Prison project -  on a 103 acre or 41.2 hectare site involving the construction of the main buildings such as Sarawak Prison Department headquarters, 601 units of quarters and a prison building which can accommodate 1,300 male inmates and 200 female inmates ´┐Ż was originally  scheduled for completion in August 2001.

 

The original contract was terminated in July 2002 when the project stalled and a new contract was awarded to TSR Bina Sdn. Bhd in September 2004 for RM54.7 million, with the new completion date fixed for next month and a reduced scope of the project to the construction of the state Prison Department headquarters, 216 units of quarters and a prison building which can house 500 male inmates and 150 female inmates.

 

The Prime Minister, who visited the site yesterday, was upset that after nine years, the project was barely half-complete, with many buildings not constructed  according to specifications and unsafe. Furthermore,  TSR Bina is now  asking for another RM43.7 million to complete the project in September 2007 ´┐Ż a full ten years from the start of the new Kuching Prison project.

 

Abdullah was right when he lambasted that ´┐ŻAll these show that those given the tasks were irresponsible´┐Ż.  Malaysians want to know how much had been paid to the first contractor, WMM Holdingts Sdn. Bhd.

 

It is not good enough for the ACA to be directed to  ´┐Żget to the bottom´┐Ż of the new Kuching Prison scandal, for going by past ACA records, nothing is going to come out of the ´┐Żbottom´┐Ż of such ACA investigations.

 

What is needed is to have a parliamentary  public inquiry to ferret out the personalities and causes for the nine- year   RM200 million new Kuching Prison scandal ´┐Ż dragging  from the  Seventh to Ninth Malaysia Plan, lasting a decade!

 

Apart from the role of the project contractors, the Public Works Department and Prisons officials, there should also be an inquiry as to what the  two previous  Deputy Internal Security Ministers, Nor Omar and  Chia Kwang Chye, and their predecessors had done to keep the new Kuching Prison project within schedule and the limits of the original costings.


(18/04/2006)     
                                                      


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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