View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, April 23, 2007

Clear the drains & complete the Jinjang Flood Mitigation Project, 23.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Government to complete the Jinjang section of the Batu and Jinjang Flood Ponds Project, and clean the drains around the construction site, so as to solve the problems of flash floods and traffic congestion.

Dr Tan made the call on 22 April, 2007, after reviewing the traffic jam at the Jinjang section of the Kepong Road and the flash flooding at the New Jinjang Garden.

Kuala Lumpur has the Flood Mitigation Project with two packages, the Smart Tunnel Project as well as the Batu and Jinjang Flood Ponds Project. The Smart Tunnel costs RM 2.167 billion. The date of completion has been extended to 30 June, 2007, being late by 6 months. The Flood Ponds Project requires RM 805 million. It is delayed by 7 months. The date of completion is fixed on 27 December, 2007.

We don't know whether the two packages will be able to prevent serious floods. Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) says that they will prevent flooding such as the 1971 great flood. This type of flooding is said to be once in a hundred years. Some don't believe that they can prevent similar flood.

The Flood Ponds Project affects the Jinjang section of the Kepong Road. There has been a diversion for over two years, causing traffic congestion. The works has effects on nearby drains, contributing to flash floods at the New Jinjang Garden.

DID must complete the Flood Ponds Project as soon as possible without sacrificing the quality of works, and solve the difficulties between the contractor and the subcontractors. Meanwhile, City Hall KL must investigate the condition of the surrounding drains, to find out the cause of flash floods with a view to preventing them.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, April 20, 2007

White Paper on Proton & its negotiations with transnationals, 20.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Government to present a parliamentary White Paper on the national car, Proton, and its negotiations with multinationals such as Volkswagen and General Motors, so that the public will understand how the Government intends to solve the problems of Proton. Will it be a joint venture, a merger or other arrangements?

Dr Tan made the call on 17 April, 2007 when he took part in the Supplementary Supply Bill in Parliament.

Today, Proton is in a dilemma. Since 2005, its sale has gone down rapidly and sales agents may fold up, affecting the downstream automotive industry. Hence, the Government must present a parliamentary White Paper on Proton and its negotiations with transnationals, as well as the ways to make it competitive within and outside this country. In an open market, the Government cannot protect Proton forever.

Over 20 years ago, I stressed in this August House that Malaysia had a relatively small population, which would be unable to sustain a national car. Even if we developed the downstream automotive industry, it would still not be easy.

The population of this county is 26 million, whereas that of the United Kingdom is over 70 million. Foreign firms have virtually bought all the British car manufacturers including Rolls Royce. Moreover, British technology is reasonably high. Now, US companies such as General Motors and Ford are reinventing themselves to overcome the changing world.

According to media reports, in the first nine months of Proton's financial year 2006/2007, its sales amounted to RM3.66 billion with losses of RM 608 million before tax. In 2006, it sold 115,538 vehicles, compared with 155,118 in 2005, a drop of 30.4%.

Generally, the decrease in the car market is 15%, but it is 30.4% with Proton. The 400 Proton agents may have to fold up. If the situation deteriorates, how many will go down? Some people predict that 70% will face bankruptcy. What will happen to the downstream automotive industry? The vendors?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Appoint Commissioners of Building in 144 local authorities, 18.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that 144 local authorities (LAs) in the country, including City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) appoint Commissioners of Building, to ensure that all buildings especially highrise ones conform with the regulations such as the issuance of strata titles. At the same time, the commissioners should also solve the problems of older buildings without strata titles.

On 15 April, 2007, Dr Tan met residents of Taman Aman Putra, Jinjang North, Kuala Lumpur. They have many complaints.

Malaysians of all races need time to adjust to living in highrise flats. They include civil servants. We often hear of housing projects that have not been able to deliver houses in time, issuing no strata titles and so forth. Several highrise buildings in Kepong such as in Taman Aman Putra are facing various problems. For example, the management company collects payment for assessment and water at a rate objected by the residents. The daily early morning call for prayer, azan subuh, attracts attention.

As with all Muslim suraus, the prayer room at Taman Aman Putra, has five muezzin's calls for prayers a day, 365 days a year. In our multireligious society, all people must accept religious practices and traditions of various religions, including the calls for prayers. Those who do night shifts and young children would appreciate if the volume of the early morning calls can be turned down.

The burning of incense and the beating of drums and religious ceremonies by Chinese and Indians make some Muslims uneasy. Hence, mutual understanding and tolerance by all races are essential.

I brought up the response by non-Muslims of early morning call for prayer on 11 April, 2007, in a rational manner. The Government proposes a Special Committee to deal with sensitive inter-religious issues. Any form of extremism including religious one is not suitable for Malaysia.

We have contacted the Management Company of Taman Aman Putra, urging it to handle residents' complaints in a just manner. We have also informed Ministry of Housing and Local Government of the difficulties faced by flat dwellers. We shall follow up the matter.

We face the difficulties about housing that require laws and enforcement which are effective. At the end of last year, Parliament passed amendment to the Housing Development Act, 1966, Strata Titles Act, 1985, The Registration of Engineers Act, 1967 and the Registration of Architects Act, 1967. We hope that this is enough to overcome the mountain of housing troubles.

For example, 144 LAs including CHKL must appoint Commissioners of Building to monitor housing development such as the issuance of strata titles.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Review the number of public holidays for civil servants, 15.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Government review the number of holidays for 1.2 million civil servants. Then, it should fix the number of holidays that will enable government employees to compete with the world, consistent with clean and effective administration.

Dr Tan has always paid attention to holidays for civil servants. On 15 April, 2007, he reiterates that they must be clean and effective.

The usual impression about civil servants is that they take too many holidays. They can have 97 weekly holidays, 14 public holidays and 15 annual holidays, totalling 126 days a year. The Government should let us know how many of these holidays are special rights or privileges?

According to media report, Associate Professor Abdul Rahim, Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM, reveals that in 2006 Singapore with 11 public holidays a year has per capita income of US$28,000 compared with RM5,000 for Malaysia with 14 public holidays. Is this a fair comparison?

Other countries in the world have the number of public holidays, varying from 7 to 22 days: Vietnam 7, United Kingdom 9, U.S.A. 10, Japan 19 and Taiwan 22.

The Secretary-General of Cuepacs Ahmad Shah says that civil servants enjoy too many holidays; these are not their special rights.

The Government must review comprehensively the number of holidays for civil servants from various angles, such as per capita incomes, efficiency and competitiveness. Then, the Government should determine the number of holidays that is compatible with the modern world.

A person needs rest and holidays. However, we would like to know the working capacity of ordinary Malaysians and the number of holidays that fits into the requirement today. We shall raise this topic of the number of holidays for civil servants, efficiency and competitiveness in Parliament.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not all who emigrate do so because of money, 13.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw does not agree with the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz who says that those who emigrate do so because of money. Nazri's survey of the matter is incomplete. His understanding of brain drain is limited.

The Prime Minister's Department must review comprehensively to ascertain the actual number of those who have left the country and the factors for so doing in the last 50 years. The vast majority of people of Chinese and Indian descent have remained in the country.

Dr Tan questioned Nazri who wound up the debate on the Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat on 10 April, 2007.

Migration occurs since mankind appears on earth. In any society, once people perceive that other countries offer better opportunities, they may emigrate. Besides brain drain, the movement of workers is phenomenal.

In the 70s last century, some Chinese and Indians as well as occasional Malays emigrated. A smaller number continues to do so from time to time. Nevertheless, some return to Malaysia. As mentioned by the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, who has confronted the minister on the issue, unfair policies and unequal chances are two of the many factors for the brain drain.

Since Merdeka, we do not know the actual number of Malaysians who have emigrated and their reasons for such action. The Prime Minister's Department should be able to give the information.

Superficially, Nazri does not accept our view on brain drain. But, his short-sightedness prevents him from seeing further. Although there are those who emigrate for material gains, there are others who do so for other reasons. In some fields such as academia, some work overseas not just for money.

There are Muslims who are new in Malaysia. There are non-Malays who have been here for many generations such as some of us. We have returned to this country since 1970. Although the pays overseas are many times higher than this country, we elect to ramain and engage in constitutional struggle.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

144 local authorities solve fencing & security huts in housing areas,11.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the 144 local authorities (LAs) including the City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL), to consider the ways to overcome the problems of fencing and huts as checkpoints for security, erected by residents of residential housing areas.

Dr Tan helps some residents' associations to request CHKL to find the best ways to solve the problems of fencing and checkpoints for security put up by residents of housing areas faced with increasing crimes. The media have highlighted these crimes and the response of the public.

Malaysians are concerned with the incidence of crimes in the country. From 2000 to February, 2007, there were about 1.18 million cases of crimes;180,000 were violent crimes and 1 million were property crimes. In the same period, Kuala Lumpur had 176,830 cases of crimes; 6,757 violent crimes and 140,073 property crimes.

The increase in the incidence of crimes causes anxiety among the public. Some people simply erect these structures for security around their housing estates or gardens and then hire security firms to patrol the areas. The Government must investigate complaints by certain people about security firms fishing in troubled water by creating more incidents, so that people appoint them.

There are those who build them first, and submit application after the LAs have taken action. Others apply before erecting them. Fences and checkpoints in gated communities on private land are different from these on public housing areas.

Apart from the Local Government Act, 1976, LAs have to consider various aspects, including the response from residents to fences and checkpoints.

The 144 LAs must be mindful of the anxiety of the public over the security or the relative lack of it. Then, they should help the people to solve the problems of fencing and checkpoints in various housing areas.

In KL, the structural plan stresses on building an internatioanal tropical garden city of light by 2020. This means that all structures including fences and checkpoints must conform with world standard.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gombak River Diversion Project serves as an example, 9.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to study the factors causing 13-year delay and extra cost for the implementation of the Gombak River Diversion Project and use it as one of the examples to avoid repeated extensions of time and additional expenditure in the implementation of project.

Dr Tan makes the comment on the problems arising from project after visiting the site at Kampung Cangkat, Gombak, with the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the morning of 5 April, 2007.

Flood mitigation is essential for areas susceptible to flooding such as Kuala Lumpur (KL). . The main rivers in KL are Klang River, Batu River and Gombak River. They gave rise to the worst flood in KL in 1971. KL Flood Mitigation Plan began the following year. Klang Gates Dam and Batu Dam were completed in1980 and 1987 respectively. In 1984, the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) initiated the Gombak Dam which was cancelled by the Cabinet because of various factors such as protest from residents. In 1989, DID put forward the Gombak River Convertion Project as an alternative. Excess water from Gombak River is diverted from Kampung Cangkat, Gombak, through a channel of 3.3 km to the Batu Pond that has been enlarged.

The first contractor was appointed for the Gombak River Diversion Project on 10 March 1994 at the cost of RM17,216,000 and the date of completion was finally fixed on 31 July, 2003. DID has many dialogues with residents to discuss various factors. These included the relocation of houses, squatters, diversion alignment, factories, compensation, additional works and the damage of houses during construction.

From 10 March, 1996 to 31 July, 2003, there were 7 extensions of time;the cost increased to RM20 million. Then, after floodings in KL on 21 April, 2001 and 29 October, 2001, DID reviewed the KL Flood Mitigation Plan, including the Gombak River Diversion.

The 2001 ADB report on the review of the KL Mitigation Plan recommended the Stormwater and Road Tunnel (SMART) Project for Klang River and Batu and Jinjang Flood Retention Ponds Project, including the Gombak River Diversion Project, to rechannel excess water from Gombak River, Batu River, Jinjang River and Keroh River.

The second contractor for Gombak River Diversion is Peremba ECD Construction Sdn Bhd. This contractor undertakes to enlarge ponds in Jinjang, builds large drain and underground piping to channel water from Keroh River, Jinjang River and Batu River. This is the Batu and Jinjang Flood Retention Ponds Project. The duration is from 25 August, 2003 to 24 May, 2007. Hitherto, the project is extended to 27 December, 2007.

The problems affecting the project include land acquisition RM88 million, the relocation of electricity and Telecom cables as well as water piping, some residents exploited the situation, a certain subcontractor is not paid by the main contractor and the closure of Gombak River by at least 1 km to be used as part of the highway.

The Gombak River Diversion Project should be a lesson to avoid delay and increasing cost. Besides being worried about the possible misuse of public fund for flood mitigation,we are looking forward to the City Hall Kuala Lumpur to maintain all drains effectively. City folks must look after drains and rivers.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Speed up amendment to the police service scheme, 4.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw insists that the Government expedite the amendment to the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) service scheme, such as restructuring of police ranking, grading of establishment, salary and new emolument proposal.

The proposed amendment is connected with the report last year of the Royal Commission to enhance the Operation and Management of the RMP. For example, numbers 89 to 93 of the 125 recommendations of the report is adjustment of the service scheme. We want the police to be clean, efficient and trustworthy. We must give them suitable salaries.

Dr Tan compares the progress of the implementation of the 125 recommendations of the RMP Royal Commission between August 2006 and April, 2007.

On 30 August, 2006, Internal Security Ministry said that 101 or 81% of the 125 recommendations have or are being implemented, 18 or 14% are being condidered and 6 or 5% would not be implemented. On 29 March, 2007, 102 or 82% have and are being implemented and 23 or 18% are being considered. It takes over six months to increase implementation by 1%. The ministry must increase the implementation capacity further.

Today, Deputy Internal Security Minister Dato' Mohd Johari says that the Government is considering the proposal to revise RMP pay and that the proposal for Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) will be submitted soon.

The police have opposed IPCMC. One reason is that this is thought to be especially aimed at the RMP, but other departments are spared. Other countries like Australia and England have a similar commission in addition to Ombudsman for all departments.

As crimes such as snatch thefts, robberies and murders are rampant at all levels of society, people of various walks of life including members of parliament and ministers are very unhappy. We must improve the service and the pay of the police. We must have better cooperation between the people and the police.

The Public Service Department and the Internal Security Ministry must expedite the amendment to the RMP service scheme, such as restructuring of RMP ranking, grading of the establishment, salary and new emolument proposal.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Complete KL Flood Mitigation Project, Packages I & II, 3.4.2007.

DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Kepong calls on the Government to complete the Kuala Lumpur Flood Mitigation Project including Package II as soon as possible, and ensure safety for the public during the the construction of the project.

KL Flood Mitigation Project Package II, that is, Batu and Jinjang Flood Retention Ponds Project is not only late, but also resulting in cave-in of Kepong Road in Jinjang.

After inspecting on 2 April, 2007 the cave-in of the Kepong Road in Jinjang, where works on the Package II is going on, Dr Tan issues the statement.

Floods occur because of various factors including manmade one such as development without control. In 1971, serious flooding happened in KL. More floods appear in the Federal Territory from time to time. In 2006, Johor suffered from big floods. Hence, flood mitigaton is necessary. The most important is that the Goverment must implement these projects effectively.

KL Flood Mitigation Project consists of two packages, that is, Package I, Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART), and Package II, Batu and Jinjang Flood Retention Ponds Project.

One part of Package II involves Jinjang section of Kepong Road. There is a road diversion. Recently, there is a cave-in of the road at the Jinjang section. Motorists experience the inconvenience and the anxiety on the land slip.

The date of completion for Package II was the beginning of 2007. But, it has been extended to the end of the year. The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry must monitor the project effectively, ensuring safety for the public as works proceeds.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Datuk Bandar KL must reveal agencies responsible for causing river pollution,1.4.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw urges the Kuala Lumpur Datuk Bandar, Dato' Ab. Hakim Borhan, to investigate fully the situation of river pollution in Kuala Lumpur, and announce the extent to which Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) and other agencies are causing these rivers to go dead.

Dr Tan his shows concern with IWK releasing sewage into rivers in Selangor as reported by the state Government.

The Government says that it is cleaning up the Klang River to revive it. But, the work progresses too slowly. Klang River and its tributaries start in Selangor, entering and exiting Kuala Lumpur, before flowing into the sea. We must clean up Klang River and its tributaries in KL and Selangor, otherwise resuscitation of the river would not be meaningful.

We have found out that sewage flows into tributaries of Klang River within KL, such as Gombak River, Batu River, Jinjang River and Keroh River, Kepong. The Datuk Bandar must, investigate the state of pollution of these rivers and the degree of treatment of the sewage by IWK.

We have asked similar question about sewage treatment and discharge into rivers. But, the Government has yet to give a satisfactory answer. IWK discharges its sewage into the lakes of the Kelana Jaya Park, Petaling Jaya. At times, there is foul smell from the lakes.

Yesterday, the Menteri Besar of Selangor Datuk WSeri Mohd Khir Toyo exposed IWK as the main culprit in discarging sewage including ammonia and faeces into rivers in Selangor. Other sources include housing development, factories and industry upstream.

City folks hope that City Hall Kuala Lumpur will ascertain the main polluters of our rivers, whether they are IWK, housing development or industry.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw