Still smelling a rat, Pending rep wants musical fountain project details

Yong showing photos of alleged defects in the musical fountain project. The project signboard was also not erected at the proper spot.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 21: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong wants the state government to disclose the rate schedule, bill of quantity and specifications pertaining to the RM31 million musical fountain project.

“So that we, the public, or even industrial players and professionals can ascertain whether this project, in fact, required RM31 million to build,” she told a press conference at Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters here today.

Yong said according to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, when delivering his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) recently, the project cost RM31 million because it was a specialised type of project and it required specialised skills to build.

She then did a search with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) on the background of the company involved in this project.

“The search revealed that this company’s nature of business is only as General Contractor and Investment Holding. It has got nothing or a single word to show that this company is specialised in building or even constructing musical fountains or fountains of any kind,” she said.

Yong said she was also disappointed with the state government for awarding this project through direct negotiation and not through open tender.

“So, since Talib mentioned that the project is so specialised and required specialists, I would like to ask how many fountains had [this company] built before that made them so eligible to qualify for this RM31 million musical fountain project,” asked Yong.

Yong argued that since the RM31 million was taxpayers’ money, it should have been spent prudently.

She said she had gone to take a look at the musical fountain with a few professionals, and they were taken aback at how the cables were laid.

“There is no proper solution to fit these cables. This means the electricity cables are exposed. And this is not done in accordance with the safety standard of engineering, because exposed cables are prone to tampering,” she contended.

She claimed the cables were now covered with moss and posed a danger to the public as they are exposed.

“So how can the minister (Talib) say this company is a specialised company?

“A specialised company would not simply construct cables and just expose them like that. This is not the way. We noticed at a few spots where the cables are exposed and no proper solution to seal them.

“We also noticed that the piping is uneven, where some are submerged in the water and some on top of the water, causing an imbalance.That is why when you see the fountain, the image is not so beautiful,” she said.

She also wondered why the project signboard was not erected at the project site proper but at a secluded corner within the DUN compound.

“I would like to ask why the project signboard was not erected at the project site, which will be easily accessible to the public to give due notice. Strangely enough, there is no commencement and completion date on the project signboard. They have to be stated. Everything is not done according to engineering standard,” she said. — DayakDaily