View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, June 26, 2006

Does inflation of 3.9% reflect the true situation?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Government to improve its system of calculating the Consumer Price Index (CPI), so that the true picture of inflation is reflected for both rural and urban areas in the country.

Dr Tan comments on the inflationary rate of 3.9% given by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs for January 2006 to May 2006 and feels that these may not reflect the true situation. Ordinary people believe that they pay much more than 3.9% for goods including foods compared with the same period last year.

Consumers find that the price of goods has increased more than 3.9% such as pork, petrol, diesel, even electricity which has gone up 12%. The price of a bowl of noodle has certainly gone up more than 10%. Homemakers who frequent wet markets, sundry shops ans hypermarkets know the truth.

We would certainly like to see the ministry improves the enforcement by its 2,174 officers to overcome irregularities. We would also urge it to improve its samplings and calculations of CPI, to reflect the actual situation in rural and urban areas. Its figures of transport index increasing by 12.8%, foods and non-alcoholic drinks 3.6% and housing, gas and other fuels 1.3% give rise to disbelief.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Without the Scenic Bridge, do we still have to spend RM740 million?

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Works Ministry to explain more positively why after scrapping the Scenic Bridge, the Government may still have to spend RM740 million. Can this be reduced?

Dr Tan issues a statement on 16 June, 2006, after the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sends a letter requesting the the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to attend a special PAC meeting on 22 June, 2006. Samy has been unhappy over the mentioning of RM100 million compensation to the contractor, Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd.

At 9.30 a.m. on 22 inst., we shall be waiting for Samy at the Committee Room in Parliament. We hope he will turn up to make intelligible to the PAC the further expenditure after the cancellation of the Johor Scenic Bridge, including the amount of compensation to the contractor for the loss of profits.

The Gerbang Selatan integrated project costs RM2.379 billion, integrated CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) building being RM1.266 billion and scenic road and rail bridges RM1.113 billion. After cancelling the Scenic Bridge, the Works Ministry has to proceed with eight scopes of works including the elevated bridge, the one-kilometre permanent link between the causeway with the new CIQ building.

During the special PAC meeting, we expect Samy to tell us the ways to reduce the cost for the remedial works without the Scenic Bridge. For example, the 15-metre high elevated bridge is estimated at RM280 million, connecting roads RM190 million, preliminary works done RM170 million and compensation to the contractor RM100 million. The Claims Committee has its own criteria.

According to usual estimates, every kilometre of a four-lane elevated bridge costs RM20 million, six-lane RM40-50 million and eight-lane RM75 million. In an unusual circumstance, the above-stated eight-lane elevated bridge costs RM280 million. This arouses suspicion. It requires the Works Minister to come personally to cut the Gordian knot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Samy, you have held Parliament in contempt,14.6.2006

Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to read carefully Article 77 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders because his utterances are in contravention of the Orders.

Yesterday, Samy urged PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad to stop meddling in the affairs of the Works Ministry.

MP for Kepong Dr Tan comments on the Works Minister's contradicting statement. Samy said:"The PAC could not keep asking ministry officials to attend its meetings just so that it would be able to give press conferences.

"We can't waste our time. We only have a limited time to implement projects. The PAC should realize that it is not the operator of the Works Ministry," he added. Did he also ask Shahrir to be the minister?

Samy should clarify whether he would insist on giving only written answers to PAC enquiry as reported by the media.

Samy, you have contravened Article 77 of the Standing Orders. You have held Parliament in contempt.

At the beginning of every Parliament, the House appointed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for the examination of four main areas like the accounts of the Federation and such other matters as the Committee may think fit, or which may be referred to the Committee by the House. The Committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, and to report from time to time.

Granted, the cancellation of the Johor scenic bridge integrated project on 12 April, 2006 involves implications and consequences such as remedial works and compensation to the contractor. The Claims Committee must decide whether the amount of compensation is RM100 million.

Under the Standing Orders, the Committee can send for the Works Minister. It does not have to accept his written answers.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw
DAP National Deputy Chairman

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The present and the former Prime Minister in the news

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Prime Minister and the former PM to work out ways to make Malaysia better, such as finding the more practical methods for the country to become a developed nation.

Dr Tan comments on the critical criticisms of the former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad against the present PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in today's media.

Mahathir says:"I am not about campaigning, I would be failing in my duty as an ordinary citizen, and an ex-PM, if I did not direct my attention to issues affecting national interests."

Th former PM's broadsides on Abdullah has become a national issue, on which the people are paying attention. Pak Lah agrees to continue with the policy of making Malaysia a developed nation. But, certain Cabinet decisions such as on the awarding of Approved Permits (AP) for importing cars and the cancellation of the new bridge between Johor and Singapore to replace the causeway as well as the allegations that Mahathir "finished all the Government's money, and that the Government was bankrupt" have caused "minor bruises" on his back.

In Malaysian history, former prime ministers were critical of the current PMs. The Tengku was not happy with Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Mahathir. Tun Hussein Onn was uneasy with Tun Mahathir's policies. Now, Tun Mahahtir creates media frenzy over Pak Lah.

Ture, the reversal of policies on Proton (APs) and the cancellation of the bridge infuriate Mahathir. The Cabinet stands by its decisions.

It is a good thing that the media carry different views between Mahathir and Pak Lah. We hope that this practice can be extended to other people who have constructive criticisms. Nevertheless, I would like to urge the present and the former PMs to work out ways of making Malaysia a better nation.