View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ensure effective enforcement of Environmental Quality (Amendment) Act, 20.6.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Government to train more enforcement officers, so that the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Act will be enforced effectively to protect Malaysian environment.

Dr Tan took part in the debate on the amendment to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 on 19 Jun, 2007.

We have to improve the Malaysian environment. There are signs of bad practices such as haphazard disposal of rubbish, sewerage and toxic waste. Enhancing the laws, their enforcement and education is essential.

An estimate in 2006 shows that about 10,000 factories produce dangerous toxic waste in the country. In 2004 and 2005, there were 469,584 metric tonnes and 489,161 metric tonnes of toxic waste respectively, increasing by 8-9% a year. How much toxic waste is produced by illegal factories?

An Organization and Industry Censor in 2005 indicates that there are 546,218 small and medium industries (SMI) in Malaysia, 489,161 of which are micro.

Between 2001 and 2005, the Government spent RM 8 million to clean 97 cases of illegal dumping of toxic waste. Since 2005, how many more cases have come to light. Last year, the illegal dumping in Johore of dangerous waste from Taiwan caused a furore.

The above-stated amendment provides for a mandatory imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding RM 500,000 against any person who contravenes Section 34B of the Act.

We agree that any person who disposes toxic waste illegally should be punished severely. This is reasonable.

The Government says that it encourages IKS. If an IKS is found guilty, it will be fined RM 500,000. If its profit is small, it will go bankrupt. Hence, IKS must keep well away from illegal disposal of toxic waste.

The amendment does not deal with the import of toxic waste. This is a weakness.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and 144 local authorities must train more enforcement personnel with quality. The ministry has 40 of them. This is inadequate. If we have more and better officers who are clean, efficient and trustworthy, the enforcement of the law will be more effective.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review mechanism to appoint & monitor projects including CHKL, 17.6.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) review the mechanism for appointing contractors and monitoring of projects, so that these projects will be of higher quality.

Actually, 143 other local authorities (LAs) should do likewise to avoid wastage of public fund. The culture of deliberate wastage should not be allowed to exist.

Meanwhile, CHKL must repair all projects which are of low quality, such as a pedestrian walkway with beautiful tiles that have come off. This walkway is beside the Kepong Garden flyover. It was completed in April, 2006. With the tiles dislodged in some parts, it affects pedestrians, especially the physically handicapped on wheelchairs.

Dr Tan inspected the affected walkway on 17 June, 2007. Some projects are reasonable, but some are unacceptable.

Every year, the Government spends tens of billions of ringgits on various projects. For example, after the 1971 big flood in KL, it has spent at least RM6.2 billion for flood mitigation. Still, flash floods occur. In 2003 and on 10 June, 2007, respectively, areas close to the CHKL headquarters such as the car park at the Merdeka Square and Jamek Mosque were badly flooded.

Some government projects give rise to problems because of various factors. There was leakage at the Immigration Headquarters and Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Ministry in Putrajaya as well as Parliament Building and Court Complexes in KL. This is perplexing.

Many factors contribute to flash floods, including the habit of throwing rubbish and the delay in the implementation of flood mitigation projects. Drainage and River Management Department (DRMD) at CHKL maintains the rivers in KL. The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) plans and implements river projects. If river bank collapses like the incidence at the Taman Emas bridge, behind the Kepong Town, DRMD uses gabion (granite in wire-netting) to prevent further erosion of the bank. This is only a temporary measure.

Every year, CHKL allocates hundreds of millions of ringgits for projects. But, there are weaknesses in the appointment of contractors and the monitoring of projects, so much so that certain projects experience difficulties such as the Gombak, Batu and Jinjang Retention Ponds Project that has been delayed.

Fourteen months ago, CHKL completed the tiled walkways in some places in Kepong Baru and Kepong Garden. This is good. At some sites of the walkway beside the Kepong Garden flyover, the beautiful tiles have come off. This affects pedestrians, especially the physically handicapped on wheelchairs.

The Kepong Garden flyover costing over RM10 million also has walkway, but not for those on wheelchairs. We believe that the Government should not only present the report of the Committee to study defective government buildings to Parliament, but also review the mechanism for appointing contractors and monitoring projects. We must improve the work of 144 LAs, including CHKL which should repair the above-stated walkway and other facilities for people including the physically handicapped, consistent with the objective of KL20.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Friday, June 08, 2007

Protect the bank of all rivers in Kuala Lumpur incl. Keroh River, Kepong, 8.6.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to strengthen the bank of all rivers in Kuala Lumpur (KL) with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or concrete lining, to prevent further collapse of river bank.

If the experiment in Penang and at the Malaya University show that PVC piling is truly reliable, then the method should be used in various rivers including the Keroh River in Kepong.

Dr Tan inspected the collapse of the Keroh river bank on 8 June, 2007.

On 5 June, 2007, heavy rain created havoc such as the collapse of the bank of Keroh River at the Taman Emas bridge, at the back Kepong Town and Metro Prima. I informed the Drainage and River Management Department (DRMD or JPPS) of City Hall KL (CHKL) immediately. DRMD has started to repair the damage by using gabion (granite in steel netting) as a temporary measure to prevent deterioration. DRMD maintains rivers in KL, whereas DID plans and implement river projects.
Keroh River flows into Batu River which connects with Klang River. Some parts of the river have concrete lining. But, other parts are unprotected, especially the upstream. During heavy rain, river bank may collapse.

Concrete lining of river bank does not conform with environment protection. DID and Malaya University are experimenting with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) piling. It is said that this concept has earned a golden award internationally. DID should be able to confirm this.

Nevertheless, after completing the repair with gabion within a month as estimated, CHKL and DID should consider a long-term solution to river bank collapse. Is it PVC piling or concrete lining?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Verify residents truly eligible to buy uints of People's Flats & get rid of red-tape,6.6.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the City Hall Kuala Lumpur (CHKL) to verify fairly the residents who are truly eligible to buy a unit each of the People's Flats. We should avoid unequal and unjust allocations, otherwise there will be endless complaints.

Dr Tan made the call on 2 June, 2007, about the sales of People's Flats, costing RM 35,000 per unit.

On 1 June, 2007, the Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the Cabinet decision to sell units of People's Flats to those eligible. At the time, he was visiting the People's Flats at Taman Intan Baiduri, Kepong.

Several days before the visit, CHKL cleared the drains, cleaned the buildings, paved the roads,removed the rubbish, planted more trees and put up big tents. One estimate gave the number of big buses as at least 40; these were used to ferry people from various parts of KL to Intan Baiduri.

Some people surmise that the extravanza is part of the preparation for the General Elections. Others maintain that the PM would like to show the people that he is effective. Nevetheless, the Project for People's Flats began during Tun Mahathir's time as PM. Pak Lah decides to sell them.

If the sales of these flats are managed well with fair distribution, the people will benefit. However, if it is unfair, unjust and chaotic, then a good thing will turn out to be bad.

We believe that the Government must verify those who are eligible to buy these flats. CHKL should set up a special unit to manage the sales, including having non-Malay personnel.

In fact, each unit of the flats has three bedrooms and a sitting room. The monthly rental is RM 124. Each costing RM 35,000 is reasonable. As long as the sales are managed properly with the personnel being friendly and there are no hanky-pankies, the people will not suffer.

The Intan Baiduri People's Flats consist of six blocks with 1834 units, 9170 residents. The project began on 19.9.2000, being completed on 15.4.2004. It cost RM 109,296,348.50. Its facilities include kindergarten, hall, shops, praying room and playing field.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw