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Hospital Shah Alam yg tak siap-siap lagi, dari RM300 juta kos asal melambung ke RM482 juta

November 30, 2010
‘White knight’ sought for revived Shah Alam Hospital
S Pathmawathy
Nov 29, 10

The stalled Shah Alam Hospital construction which has been mired by allegations of misconduct and discrepancies was opened up for tender last week.

NONERevealing this today, Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor told the Dewan Rakyat today that the Public Works Department (PWD) is in the process of appointing a “white knight” to rescue and complete the abandoned project by way of a limited tendering procurement method.

“The project’s tender advertisement was published on Nov 26 and it will end on Dec 17 and it is estimated to be completed within 30 months from the date it’s tendered out,” said Shaziman.

NONEHe said that the selection process for the white knight contractor will be done according to PWD’s “procedures and regulations”.

The minister (right) said this when debating a pay-cut motion moved against him by opposition parliamentarian Khalid Samad (PAS-Shah Alam).

PWD had terminated the services of Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd as the main contractor of the project on Sept 3, after the project suffered considerable delay. It was mooted some 10 years ago to reduce the congestion at the overcrowded Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang which is the nearest government facility for those living in Shah Alam.

Khalid had tabled a motion under Standing Order 66(9) to dock RM10 from the works minister’s salary today as projects under the ministry incur high cost but were low in quality.

He aalleged that contracts worth hundreds of millions of ringgit were given to OKU’s (Orang Kuat Umno) through direct negotiations although the contractors were inefficient.

Minister’s ‘incompetency’

In his motion, he said that direct negotiations was evidence that Shaziman was irresponsible in determining the prudent use of public funds.

NONEUsing the delayed Shah Alam Hospital project as an example, Khalid (right) said the ministry should have simply ordered the PWD to take over the construction and rehire the subcontractor, who was supposedly doing a good job.

It is understood that the former main subcontractor, GMH Sdn Bhd, as well as several other subcontractors connected to the project, whose services had recently been terminated by Sunshine Fleet, had offered to continue as the new contractors.

The hospital which was initially announced to cost about RM300 million ballooned to a staggering RM482 million – a mark-up of RM182 million.

Khalid also sought to censure the minister for the exorbitant cost of RM935 million for the new palace which stood at RM811 million in June.

The cost of the new palace doubled from its estimated RM400 million in 2006 and the contacts for the construction were awarded to three companies through direct negotiations, instead of open tenders.

The National Cancer Institute was another contention raised, as the contract which initially cost RM340 million in 2007 blew up to RM700 in 2009.

“The project was given via direct negotiation to Syarikat Kiara Teratai Sdn Bhd… which had no track-record or even the necessary expertise,” said Khalid.

Besides that, Khalid also criticised the ministry’s incompetency in maintaining the Parliament building which sprung a leak last week.

‘Only 5 percent given through direct negotiations’

Shaziman replied that under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), the PWD was entrusted with 6,124 projects worth a total of RM119.02 billion.

“Out of that total number of projects, 297 projects were given out through direct negotiations and it’s less than 5 percent of the 6,124 projects under the 9MP.

“The remaining projects are tendered out but in certain situations some projects are decided through direct negotiations because of safety concerns or specific needs. Projects approved through direct negotiations are given based on design and build proposals approved by the Finance Ministry,” he said.

Shaziman attributed the delayed Shah Alam Hospital project to the direct negotiation agreement entered into between the Finance Ministry and Sunshine Fleet.

Shaziman also said that the Shah Alam Hospital project had been halted due to rising costs of fuel and construction materials like steel, cement and sand.

Therefore, the minister claimed that the cost of the project was “reasonable”.

“This is taking into consideration that it now has a 500-bed capacity instead of the original 300, and it also has quarters for Classes D, E, F and G, as well as a hostel for nurses and housemen’s quarters,” he said.

Shaziman similarly argued that the palace project had undergone the same agreement process, whereby it was given out directly to the contractors via direct negotiation by the Finance Ministry.

Despite the opposition’ss rebuttal to Shaziman’s explanation, the pay-cut motion was shot down by the government MPs.

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