SOME 80 projects worth RM8bil are stalled due to rising costs and the Government is considering various measures to revive them.
“Many of these contractors face problems because the price of materials had increased two to three times after the start of the projects,” Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.
He said the Prime Minister had ordered a study on the matter and urged for appropriate actions to be taken, including replacing the contractors with new ones to finish the projects, which were only about 50% to 60% complete.
“We are also trying to get the Finance Ministry to give them an advance to allow them to complete the projects rather than let them become ‘sick’ contractors,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Earlier in the House, Samy Vellu told Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri (BN – Kudat) that 35 projects worth RM2.4bil were brought forward from the Ninth Malaysia Plan to the Eighth Malaysia Plan to strengthen the construction sector.
To a question from Datuk Badruddin Amiruddin (BN – Jerai), Samy Vellu said the 35 projects carried forward to this year were “broken down” to smaller packages to allow more contractors to take part.
“I’ve asked the Public Works Department to set aside 10% of all projects for small contractors,” he said.
Samy Vellu also told Loh Seng Kok (BN – Kelana Jaya) that the ministry had no control over local councils giving out billboard licences and was only responsible for the rules that should be adhered to by companies installing them.
Loh also asked who was responsible for accident damages should the driver lose concentration on his driving while looking at the billboards.
To this, Samy Vellu said: “I am sorry YB, we cannot be held responsible for other people’s mistakes.”
He said that in some cases, local councils approved the applications before the roads were even completed.
“I don’t want to name them ... somebody big.
“They can just ask to install (the billboards) anywhere. Just look along the highway stretch from Kuala Lumpur to KL International Airport. There are so many of them,” he said to cheers from the House.
Did you find this article insightful?