Habitual projects delay

OoiZhiYi 20160126 Market Construction Delay BIPENANG — Completion of refurbishment and upgrading works for the Tanjung Bungah Integrated Market complex and the Chowrasta Market complex has again been delayed and Penang Gerakan Youth is questioning the competency of the DAP-led state government.

Penang Gerakan Youth secretary Ooi Zhi Yi said inability to complete the simple task gave rise to public perception that the state government and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) are incompetent.

“What has happened to the policy of competency so proudly proclaimed by the state government in their proudly-proclaimed ‘competency, accountability & transparency’ mantra?”

“If completion of construction works for upgrading of these two market complexes has to be delayed again for another six months, then how capable is the Penang government going to effectively supervise and monitor mega infrastructural project such as Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP)?”

Ooi referred to newspaper reports which quoted Lim Cheng Hoe, a former MBPP councilor and the assistant to Tanjung Bungah state assemblyman, as expressing his frustration over this issue with an unpleasant remark “disgusting”.

“When their own comrade felt disgusted over the incompetency, naturally the feelings of the general public can be said to be the same,” said Ooi in a statement, adding that the state government has to account for its failure to get the job done as scheduled.

He pointed out that it is nothing new for the state government to delay completion of projects they have undertaken, the first of which was the multi storey car park complex in Penang Hill. The car park has to be demolished and rebuilt. Others projects that have been delayed due to inefficient supervision and monitoring included widening works for Jalan Batu Lanchang, Jalan Song Ban Kheng, upgrading works for Octopus Flyover near Komtar as well as the Cecil Street Market.

The second season of the Auditor-General Reports for 2014 had pointed out that MBPP had awarded construction works to incompetent contractors to carry out the relevant projects embarked by the local government as well as the underlying causes of the delay and the irregularities and certain malpractices in the management of the projects.

Ooi regretted that the state government simply did not take heed of the advice and comments made in the Auditor General Reports.

“We regret that the voices of the opposition in the state legislative assembly are weak for the state government to bother any calls for improvement and competency. Therefore, the people of Penang should vote for more opposition candidates in the state to check and balance the political hegemony of the state government,” Ooi added.