Why ask Cabinet for allocation to repair 2000 bridges, only two years after assessment?
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to explain why he requests for the Cabinet approval of RM500 million for repair of Malaysian bridges only two years after assessing the state of these bridges.
Dr Tan remarks on the statement by Samy who indicates that we need about RM 500 million for the renovation of 2,000 bridges in the country on 6.8.2
The Works Minister says that he has informed the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister Department, about the repair of old bridges and that the Governemnt has approved the allocation. This answer is not convincing.
We understand that some bridges are 60 years old. What we cannot understand is that the Public Works Department inspected these bridges two years ago and yet it only seeks the approval of the Cabinet for repair allocations now.
Recently, the collapse of the Interstate Bridge in Minneapolis, United States, resulted in deaths and injuries. Apparently, there are 70,000 bridges in the US, requiring US$188 billion for repiar that will take 20 years.
Other countries such as South Korea had a similar bridge disaster in Seoul a few years ago..
The Government must improve the inspection of bridges, roads, drains, buildings and so forth. It should not wait for two years before action is taken. At the beginning of this year, the PWD spent RM70 million to repair 31 cracked pillars of the Kepong flyover (MRR2). It is still claiming the extra expenses from the main contractor.
We have submitted questions on the state of bridges in the country, their inspection and repair. These require replies from the Works Minister.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw