Errant contractors to face the music





Saifuddin (seated third from right) at the meeting. — Bernama

Saifuddin (seated third from right) at the meeting. — Bernama

KUANTAN: Stern action, including terminating tenders of problematic contractors, will be taken in an effort to solve and reduce the number of ailing projects in Pahang, said Pahang Action Council chairman Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the decision, reached at the council’s first meeting, was aimed at avoiding rising costs due to projects not completed on schedule.

Without revealing the exact number of ailing projects in Pahang, Saifuddin, who is also the Foreign Minister, said a big part of the problem was the old system which involved direct negotiations.

“The problem also occurs when the State Development Office (SDO) and State Secretariat (SUK) are not given accurate information regarding the implementation of the projects, thus making it difficult for them to supervise.

“If it is because of problematic contractors, then we need to take immediate and decisive action. Direct negotiations must no longer be practised, and we hope problems caused by contractors can be overcome and not repeated,” he said.

Earlier, he chaired the Pahang Action Council meeting at Wisma Persekutuan here, which was attended by the director-general of the Implementation and Coordination Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zolkopli Dahalan, state secretary Datuk Seri Dr Salehuddin Ishak and SDO director Datuk Zulkifli Yaacob.

Saifuddin announced that the council had identified its five main fields of focus, namely education and training, employment and economy, social development and identity, infrastructure and public facilities as well as community involvement, including at the decision-making level.

“We also discussed where we want to take Pahang 10 years from now and what will be synonymous with the state, for example like Kedah, which is known as the country’s rice bowl,” he said.

Saifuddin, who is also the Indera Mahkota MP, said he will discuss in detail the development of the state with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

Meanwhile, based on the council’s media statement, the Project Implementation Performance and Development Programme reports state that Pahang recorded 94.7% or RM1.776bil in expenditure from the RM1.875bil allocation under the third rolling plan of the 11th Malaysia Plan.

A total of 497 projects under the 11th Malaysia Plan are being implemented in Pahang, comprising 177 completed projects, 267 in the implementation stage and 53 in the planning stage.

“Under the Special Federal Allocation, a total of 1,957 projects were approved with an allocation of RM28.56mil. Of that, 1,873 projects have been fully completed,” said the statement.

It also reported that Pahang had 22,986 heads of households registered under the e-Kasih system, with 2,041 categorised as hardcore poor and 3,738 as poor. — Bernama