View issues with Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Complete the flood mitigation project in Jinjang & pay the subcontrators.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato' Seri Azmi Bin Khalid to ensure that flood mitigation projects such as in Jinjang are completed in time with the highest quality of works.

The ministry must ensure that subcontractors are paid whether directly or through other effective means. The tender system must be improved to overcome the problem of contractors failing to pay subcontractors. [Why should a contractor who is facing financial difficulty be appointed for a project? Is it a bailout effort?]

Dr Tan has brought up this matter repeatedly including during the debate at the committee stage on the Supply Bill, dealing with RM 1.8 billion allocation for the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on 19.11.2007.
The Kuala Lumpur Flood Mitigation Project consists of Package One, Smart Tunnel, and Package Two, Batu and Jinjang Retention Ponds Project. The project has been delayed. For example, Package Two is said to be delayed for seven months, being rescheduled to be completed by 27 December, 2007. This affects the public.

The Smart Tunnel costs RM 2.1 billion, including land acquisition. The contractor is the consortium of Gamuda and Malaysian Mining Corporation (MMC). This Package One was delayed for six months. The tolled road through the tunnel has been operational before mitigation of flood.
The Batu and Jinjang Retention Ponds Project costs RM 805 million. The contractor is the listed company Peremba. The subcontractor is waiting for payment.
The ministry intends to pay the subcontractor directly. How many subcontractors are there? How does the ministry solve the earlier nonpayment?

The Deputy Minister Dato' S Sothinathan replies: Package Two is late by six months. We admit that there is problem between the contractor and the subcontractor. The ministry understands this matter and we have made an arrangement to pay the subcontractor directly. We expect the project to be completed by early 2008.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
posted by Tan Seng Giaw @ 8:46 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stop trespassing green lungs & uphold excellence and dignity of Prime Minister's Department

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw reiterates that the Prime Minister ensure the objective and efficiency of the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) while stopping the misuse and abuse of public funds and the unreasonable trespass of green lungs.

There are 144 local authorities, some of which face the abuse of public funds such as the building of community halls and kindergardens including political party offices on green lungs. This is pulling wool over the people. Local authorities feel that their hands are tied.

The Prime Minister's Department should stop coercing local governments with such a practice.

Dr Tan brought up the matter during the debate on the Supply Bill at the committee stage regarding the allocation of RM 1.85 billion for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on 19.11.2007.

On 17.11.2007, a political party member hit a cameraman from a Chinese newspaper while the latter photographed activities at a socalled community hall in Cheras. Y.A.B. Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sould review the objective of ICU and its destruction of green lungs.

In the 219 parliamentary constituencies, it is not difficult for us to see construction activities on public land like green lungs. For example, about three months ago, a project to build another toilet at the Jinjang North's main playing field, was stopped because of protest from residents, leaving behind a big hole and piling. Now, another project is appearing adjacent to the public toilet at the playing field.

At the Jalan Lang Kelabu, Kepong Baru Tambahan, there is a building project. These two projects are on green lungs. A field at Jalan Lang Merah which is a stone's throw from Jalan Lang Kelabu shows a few buildings, one of which is a branch of a poltical party.

At Jalan Kepong Baru, a building occupies a green lung. Similarly, there is an office of a political party encroaching a playing field at Jalan Chiak Padi, Kepong Baru.

Responding to an enquiry last week, the authorities put up a make-shift board indicating that a community hall and related things are being built at the main playing field, Jinjang North, with the allocation of from ICU for minor projects. This hall occupying about 2,400 square feet is supposed to cater for a community of perhaps 300,000 in Jinjang at. It is said to cost RM 200,000. It defies imagination. Does it mean that 20 or 30 people can assemble at the socalled community hall each time? This is topsy turvy.

Just as other local governments, City Hall Kuala Lumpur has a structural plan that stresses on the full protection of green lungs. Why are there odd activities on public vacant lands?

The objective of ICU is to monitor national development projects, including special duties and minor projects. It must ensure orderly and effective implementation. It aims at excellence and dignity. Its allocation in 2008 is RM 397 million.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Appoint independent members & widen the scope for the Royal Commission on the Lingam tape & other aspects.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw again calls on the Prime Minister to appoint truly independent members for the Royal Commission on the Lingam video clip. The scope must be much wider than the tape, covering important aspects of the judiciary.
Dr Tan comments on the delay in forming the Royal Commission on the judiciary after the Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced that the Government would do so since 16.11.2007. The video clip is suspected to contain conversations between a senior lawyer and a chief judge on the appointment of judges.

The Cabinet met on 21.11.2007 in the absence 0f the Prime Minister who is overseas on official duties. We are waiting for him to announce the composition of the Royal Commission on his return.

On 16.11.2007, Abdullah said:"The Commission will be established after its duties are sorted out. Then, selected individuals will be appointed as members."

Recently, the Lingam video clip causes controversy. If it is genuine, the image of the judiciary is tarnished further. After the exposure of the tape, the Government set up a three-men panel to investigate the case. Apparently, each panelist presents his own report and all recommend the formation of a Royal Commission. The Government should make the reports public, so that the public know the reasons for setting up the Commission.

This country practises the separation of powers, that is, the administration, the legislature and the judiciary, are all independent, creating a balance. In the last few years, many within and outside Malaysia question the independence of the judiciary. The removal of Tun Salleh Abbas 20 years ago as the Lord President attracted much attention.

Setting up the Commission is reasonable. Its scope must be more than just the controversial video clip. Having defined its duties, the Prime Minister must appoint members who are truly independent. It is best for him to get opinions from as many people as possible, so that the Commission will be widely accepted.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

List school maintenance projects & the implementation efficiency,14.11.2007.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Education Ministry to announce the list of school maintenance projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan(9MP).

We need to know the actual amount, the system of tender and monitoring. How much is unwanton waste? Is the allocation used precisely for the purpose?

Dr Tan asked a supplementary question on 14.11.2007 as Deputy Education Minister Dato' Haji Noh Bin Haji Omar was answering the question on Racial Integration Programme for schools including allocation for the purpose under the 9MP.

Under the programme, the allocation of nearly RM 5 billion has been given to schools of all streams; national schools receive RM4.3 billion.

The 2008 allocation to Education Ministry is RM29.5 billion. This is reasonable. But, the monitoring of its use has to be upgraded.

The Deputy Education Minister says that there are open tenders for projects. Despite his efforts to justify the implementation of these projects, we are not convinced that there are sufficient transparency and accountability.

The ministry must review all these projects. For instance, do all headmasters know that there are allocations for maintenance of their schools? How is a contractor appointed? Does a contractor or even a subcontractor determine where and what to repair and upgrade? Who monitor as to how he or she carry out the works? How do headmasters certify the completion of a project?

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Review detention practices, judiciary and interrogation techniques

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls for a review of detention practices, judiciary and interrogation techniques in Malaysia.

Dr Tan spoke at the the DAP English Forum: Remembering Operation Lalang (1987 - 2007). No More Fear. Abolish ISA (Internal Security Act).

The State of Emergency was declared in Malaya in 1948, culminating in the killing of the British High Commisswsioner Sir Henry Gurney. His grave is well kept at the Cheras cemetery.

The British colonial administration used the Emergency Regulations to fight the Communists. In 1960, three years after Merdeka, H.R. Hickling, who passed away last year, drafted ISA. I met him at a Human Rights Seminar on 3 November in 1988. He said that if the price of ending the emergency was the ISA, then I believe it was worth paying. He did mention that it might be abused.

The first Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman reassures Malaysians: " My Cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the Government under the ISA, 1960, would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent."

During Operation Lalang in the week of October 27, 1987, 107 persons were detained and 39 were sent to Kamunting Detention Centre. Here, I would not go into the details of detention, interrogation techniques and the suffering of the detainees and their families.

As I was released from Kamunting on 3 June, 2007, I told Kit Siang that my release could not have been true. He said it was. Even so, I replied that I could have been rearrested soon. He reassured me that it could not be so until maybe over 10 years' time.

Twenty years later, ISA is still being used, especially after September 11, 2001 when suicide bombers highjacked passenger liners to attack World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, U.S.A.. The UK has her Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and Terrorism Act 2006. She has had a system similar to ISA in Northern Ireland. The USA has the new system of arrest, detention, interrogation and eventual trial by military commission and various acts such as the USA Patriot Act 2001. This system is a form of transnational ISA.

Detention without trial is unacceptable. ISA was promulgated in 1960 to stamp the Communist tide. The Communist Party of Malaya laid down arms in 1989. But, ISA remains.

A detainee is entitled to judicial review to seek his or her freedom. He or she must not be detained for long period without trial.

On 31.10.2007, the Prime Minister Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave a written reply in Parliament: "At the moment, the Government feels that ISA is significant because we use it to maintain peace and to ensure the security of the general public.

"Many countries like Singapore, Brunei, Israel, South Africa and the US also use a concept that is similar to our ISA."

There must be alternatives to uphold peace, security and stability in Malaysia, such as specific legislations against those who are bent to destroy the country.

There must be genuine attempt by Government to improve the perception of the people about the judiciary.[ A Royal Commission to enquire into all aspects of the judiciary besides the Lingam tape, notwithstanding its authenticiy.]

We need a review of detention practices including all ISA detentions, to ascertain the number of cases which are unjustifiable.

We have to review interrogation techniques such as those used against Abdul Malik Hussein (the ISA detainee who was awarded RM 2.5 million damage for the detention in which he was tortured).

We ought to ensure that all detention practices, the interrogation techniques and the judiciary are consistent with the status of a developed nation.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw