Monday, October 13, 2014

Pan Borneo Highway project costs has overrun by RM5 billion even before the project kicks off

By an answer dated 1-7-2013, to my question in Parliament, the Ministry of Public Works stated that:
1.         the full length of Pan Borneo is 2,239 km, out of which, 248 km has 4 or 6 lanes, while the remaining 1,991 km is still single carriageway.
2.         According to the Highway Network Development Plan (HNDP) report published in 2010, the total costs to upgrade the full stretch of Pan Borneo Highway into dual-carriageway is estimated to be RM22 billion.
3.         The Government shall upgrade the Highway by stages from 2011 till 2025.


However, on 10-10-2014, in his 2015 Budget speech, Najib said that “the government intends to start construction of the 1,663-km Pan-Borneo Highway comprising 936 km in Sarawak and 727 km in Sabah at a total construction cost of RM27 billion.”


If one were to compare the answer given by the Public Works Minister in Parliament in 2013 and the figure stated in the 2015 Budget speech of Najib, it is shocking to note that the stretch of Pan Borneo Highway that will be upgraded has shortened by 328 km, but the costs of construction has increased by RM5 billion!


Though it may sound good and feel good to hear of the Pan Borneo Highway mentioned in Najib’s 2015 Budget speech, there are 4 important points missing in his speech in this respect:


1.         When will the Project Commence?

In the whole of Najib’s 190-para Budget speech, only 1 small paragraph talked about Pan Borneo Highway and yet there is no mention about when the construction work will begin.

If one were to read carefully what he said, for all the other projects mentioned in the Budget speech which will be implemented next year, he use the word “will”.  But when he talked about Pan Borneo Highway, he used the words “intends to”.

According to the 2013 Public Works Minister’s reply, back in 2011, the Government has already had the intention to upgrade the Pan Borneo Highway.  Why is it that 4 years later, in 2015, the Government still remains at the stage of “intends to” but not committed to?

More importantly, as I glance through the Budget document, I can’t find the expenditure item for Pan Borneo Highway.

As such, the mention of Pan Borneo Highway is mere hot air, to temporarily silence the demand of Sarawakian for the upgrading of Pan Borneo Highway into dual carriageway.



2.         Why, within a short span of 4 years, the roads shortened by 320 km (-16%)but the costs increased by RM5 billion (22%)?

According to the 2010 HNDP report, the estimated costs to upgrade the length of 1991 km Pan Borneo Highway is RM22 billion, ie. an average costs of RM11.05 million per km.  This is already a very high figure.

However, according to the figures mentioned by Najib in his 2015 Budget speech, the estimated costs to upgrade the length of 1663 km Pan Borneo Highway will be RM27 billion, ie. an average costs of RM16.23 million per km, a 46.8% increase in costs per km.

It is impossible for the costs of building material to sky-rocket so high within a mere 4-year period.  This is especially so, given that inflation rates in Malaysia as announced by the Government have been in the region of 3% in the past four years (only 2.1% in year 2013).

Such over-bloated costs is very typical of the transactions found in the annual Auditors-General’s report where RM100 is spent for something worth RM10.


3.         How is the project going to be awarded?

Is the 1,663 km project going to be divided into packages and awarded through open tender system to numerous different contractors? Or, is it going to be directly awarded to one company without any open tender?

If it were the latter, the likely result will be that the single contractor will then sub-contract out the job, thereby keeping a certain percentage as its “Ali Baba commission”.

If this happens, the contractor actually doing the job will have no choice but to cut corners and may even compromise the safety design.  The people in Sarawak will not get the Pan Borneo Highway value for money.  At the end of the day, we will have sub-standard Pan Borneo Highway.


4.         Do we have to pay tolls for the Highway?

In the past, when North-South Highway was built, it was also over-priced.  As a result, millions of road user in West Malaysia are still paying exorbitant toll rates till this day.


DAP Sarawak fully supports the construction and upgrading of the whole length of Pan Borneo Highway into dual carriageway.  However, such development should not bring along additional burden to the people.

In addition, the work must be spread out more fairly, rather than only ONE company getting the work.



Chong Chieng Jen
Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching
ADUN Kota Sentosa
DAP Sarawak Chairman

DAP National Vice Chairman

泛婆大道,还未开工,已超额50亿令吉

201371日,我于国会下议院,针对提升泛婆大道为全程4条车道的工程所提出的口头提问,工程部所给予的回答是:
1.       泛婆大道从砂州至沙巴州全程长达2239公里,其中248公里已是4(或6)车道了,余下的1991公里仍是单程单车道。
2.   根据2010年所公布的《公路网发展规划》报告书,要全程提升泛婆大道为双程双车道(dual-carriageway),估计将耗资220亿令吉。
3.       提升计划将从2011年至2025年分阶段进行。


但是,在20141010日,纳吉在国会《2015年财政预算案》演词中却提到,政府“有意要以270亿令吉,开始施工1663公里的泛婆大道的工程,包括砂拉越的936公里和沙巴的727公里。” (the government intends to start construction of the 1,663-km Pan-Borneo Highway comprising 936 km in Sarawak and 727 km in Sabah at a total construction cost of RM27 billion.)

若比较之前(2013年)工程部在国会所给予的答案,和前天纳吉预算案演词里的数据,涉及提升的公路少了328公里,但是工程价格却增加了50亿令吉!


虽然咋听之下,好像泛婆大道工程将要施工了,但是,纳吉在其《2015年财政预算案》演词中所提到的泛婆大道工程计划,存有4大疑问:


1.         工程将在几时才开始?

在纳吉整份190段的演词中,只有一小段提到泛婆大道,而且,也没提到几时将开始施工。

若你详细读纳吉的演词,其他全部将在2015年落实的计划,其演词里所用的字眼是“will”,“将会”。但是,当他提到泛婆大道时,他所用的字眼是“intendsto”,即,“有意愿要”。

根据2013年工程部在国会下议院的回答,早在2011年政府就“有意愿要”提升泛婆大道,为何到了2015年的预算案,还是停留在“有意愿”的阶段。

最重要的是,在整个财政预算案开支项目中,并没有阐明“PanBorneo”的开支。

因此,明眼人一听就知道,纳吉只是在“敷衍”砂州人民,根本没诚意要积极提升泛婆大道,只是因为砂州人民有强烈要求泛婆大道的声音,而砂州又是国阵的大票仓,随便塞一句在其演词,暂时满足砂州人民而已。


2.         为何工程在短短4年间,路短了320公里(-16%),价钱却暴涨50亿令吉(22%)?

根据工程部2010年的报告书,估计需要220亿令吉提升1991公里路,平均是每1公里1105万令吉的开支。这已是一个令人咂舌的价格。

但是,根据纳吉前天的演词,估计需要270亿令吉提升1663公里路,平均是每1公里1623万令吉的开支,比之前的估计数额,暴增46.8%

短短4年的时间,建筑成本不可能暴涨的这么高。更何况,国阵政府每年都称,马来西亚的通膨率只是介于3%左右(国家银行公布,2103年的通膨率只是2.1%)。

这种数额暴涨的现象,就如每年总稽查司报告中所出现的“超额”交易,100令吉买10令吉的东西。


3.         工程将以何方式进行?

这项长达1663公里建路工程是否将以公开招标方式,分十多个阶段由不同的承包商承建,或是将以没有招标的直接颁发给一家公司,再由这家公司转发给二手承包商或三手承包商的层层剥削?

若是后者,在这种层层剥削的情况下,真正建路的承包商肯定必须偷工减料,甚至妥协一些安全设施。最终,砂州人民将无法得到物有所值的泛婆大道。


4.         建路费是全由政府承担,还是人民需还过路费?

过去,西马的南北大道也是在没有公开招标方式下直接颁发给一家公司。结果,西马成千上万的道路使用者到今天还在付还昂贵的过路费,平均每个月需还百多两百的过路费。


行动党绝对支持扩建泛婆大道成为全程双程双车道的真正大道,因为这对砂州未来的发展将会带来极大好处。但是,这发展不应带给人民更重的负担,且,人民应得到物有所值的建设。另外,在政府拨款发展的当儿,应该更公平的分配给更多的本地承包商,这将更有效的达至刺激经济的效应,而不是由一两个朋党独肥。


12-10-2014

张健仁
古晋市国会议员兼哥打圣淘沙州议员
民主行动党砂州主席兼全国副主

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reverse decision, charge Ibrahim Ali

DAP Sarawak expresses deep regrets and disapproval over the reply given by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri, that the threat to burn Bible in Malay-language is not a crime as it was in defence of Islam.

It is especially shocking to receive such a Parliamentary answer from a Minister coming from Sarawak, where different religions are practiced freely in different languages and there is no conflicts between the followers of different religions.

Has Nancy Shukri forgotten where she comes from or is she just carrying out the biddings of her UMNO masters mindlessly?

In Sarawak, many of the churches conduct their congregations, especially the Dayak congregation, in Bahasa Malaysia and the Bibles used were printed in Bahasa Malaysia.  The existence of Bibles in BM has never been seen as a threat to Islam. 

Even more so, many of the Muslims political leaders in Sarawak went through the missionary schools education and they were exposed to Christian prayers and teaching throughout their school-life and yet they still remain Muslims.

The notion of having a Bible in Bahasa Malaysia poses a threat to Islam is itself an incredulous notion.  And to threaten to burn Bible in Bahasa Malaysia because it is treated as a threat to Islam is utter religious extremist and most unacceptable in our country.

For the Government to allow such threats to be made and still try to justify the act for the offender, it just shows that the Government has no respect for the other religions and that the Government has no intention to uphold the provisions of the Constitution when it comes to the freedom to practice any religion by non-Muslims.

We DAP Sarawak therefore call upon the Government to review its decision not to prosecute Ibrahim Ali because by condoning Ibrahim Ali’s action, the Government is actually encouraging religious extremism amongst the Muslims. Such encouragement by the Government will ultimately lead to religious conflicts and disharmony in Malaysia.

9-10-2014
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman

MP for Bandar Kuching & ADUN for Kota Sentosa

不提控依布拉欣,政府怂恿极端主义。

(古晋10日讯)民主行动党古晋市国会议员兼哥打圣淘沙州议员严厉谴责国阵怂恿依布拉欣阿里发表焚烧马来文圣经的言论。

日前,首相署部长南希苏克里在国会下议院回答林冠英的提问中表示,政府将不会以煽动罪名提控依布拉欣阿里发表“焚烧马来圣经”的言论,因为,依布拉欣发表该言论是在捍卫伊斯兰教。

张健仁表示惊讶,南希苏克里是来自砂拉越,她应该非常清楚,依布拉欣的“焚烧马来圣经”的言论,极度的伤害和侮辱基督徒。尤其是在砂拉越,许多达雅族基督徒都是以马来语进行祈祷仪式,而他们的圣经也是以马来文为主。

“难道南希苏克里忘记她来自砂拉越,或是她只是盲目的在跟随她的巫统老板?”

张健仁指出,从建国至今,马来文的圣经从来就不曾被视为“威胁伊斯兰教”。砂拉越有许多马来政治人物,都是毕业于教会学校。他们中小学时期,都有接触到基督教的祈祷和圣经,但是他们至今还是回教徒,也不见他们变成基督教徒。

张氏说,“马来文圣经的存在对伊斯兰教是一种威胁”的言论本身就是一个不可思议的论调。那些以这种论调为由,公开呼吁焚烧马来文圣经的人士,根本就是宗教极端主义者。这种言论和思维是不能容于马来西亚。

张氏表示,国阵政府不只允许依布拉欣阿里这类宗教极端的言论,更替它合理化和合法化。这证明,国阵政府根本就没有尊重其他宗教,也证明国阵政府根本没有顾及其他非穆斯林宗教自由的宪法权力。


张健仁呼吁政府重新检讨“不提控依布拉欣”的立场,因为这立场意味着国阵政府怂恿甚至鼓励穆斯林持有宗教极端主义。这最终将导致宗教之间的冲突及影响国家的和谐。

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

国会提问受阻,联邦政府根本没有诚意欲增加砂州石油和天然气开采税。

(古晋7日讯) 民主行动党古晋市国会议员兼哥打圣淘沙州议员张健仁谴责,联邦政府根本没有诚意欲增加砂州石油和天然气开采税。

张氏透露,他于今日召开的国会下议院会议中,有提呈以下的问题:
询问首相有关国油(PETRONAS)和其他石油公司所签署的《生产分配合约》(ProductionSharingContract)的详细合同条款,尤其有关在砂拉越生产石油和天然气利润的分配。联邦政府是否有意调高砂拉越石油和天然气的开采税?”

他于今早在国会下议院收到国会议长信函,拒绝允许张氏在国会下议院提出该问题。 议长在信中给予的理由是,有类似议题的案件目前正在法庭等待审讯,因此国会不可讨论该事项。

当张健仁站起来质问议长有关案件到底是谁入禀法庭的。 议长回答说,该案件是吉兰丹州政府起诉国油和联邦政府的案件。

张健仁表示,议长给予的理由根本无法让人接受,因为:
1.         吉兰丹政府的案件,跟砂州没有关系;
2.    他的国会提问是有关增加砂州石油天然气开采税的税率,而议长所提的案件却是吉兰丹州政府追讨其开采税的诉讼案。
两者根本就风马牛不相及,不可一概而论。

“更何况,我在6月召开的国会下议院会议中,也曾提出有关问题。当时,虽然首相署部长没有给予正面的答案,但至少还有回答。为什么今次当我再深入追问有关课题时,连问题都被议长否决?”

张氏表示,很明显的,联邦政府没有意愿要落实砂州议会所议决,要求增加石油天然气开采税至20%的议决案,联邦政府只是企图逃避和拖延这问题。更甚的是,现在竟然连着问题都不被允许在国会下议院提出讨论。

张氏说,自砂州议会做出要求增加石油天然气开采税至20%的议案到今日,已超过6个月了。但是联邦政府却完全没有正面回应砂州人民的这项诉求。

“时至今日,砂州政府也应该醒觉,联邦政府根本没有诚意欲增加砂州石油天然气开采税。联邦政府只是在打太极,拖延时间。现在甚至不允许这问题在国会被提出讨论。这对砂州议会来说,是一个侮辱。”

张健仁指出,吉兰丹州政府起诉国油和联邦政府的案件是于2010年入禀法庭,而这起案件最快也需多10年时间才会有一个了断。若以国会下议院议长今日的决定为准,那要求增加砂州石油天然气开采税事宜,将在这10年内,完全不可在国会被提出。 10年后怎样,还是未知数。

“砂州天然资源已被剥削将近40年。人民不能再等这么长的时间了。”


张氏呼吁,有鉴于联邦政府这种立场,砂州政府不应该再继续守株待兔,砂州政府应采取更积极和强硬的措施,促使联邦政府落实砂州议会在今年5月所一致通过的“增加砂州石油天然气开采税至20%”的议决案。

Chong not happy with rejection of oil, gas royalty question

Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen is not satisfied with the Speaker rejecting his question in Parliament on the ground that a court case on similar subject was pending.

In a press statement received here yesterday, he said he was asking Putrajaya to state the terms and conditions of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) between Petronas and other signatories to the PSC, especially those relating to the apportioning of profits from oil and gas extracted from Sarawak.

The state DAP chairman also asked whether the federal government had any intention to increase the oil and gas royalty to the Sarawak government.

“My question was rejected by the Speaker on the ground that a related matter has been referred to court and thus, was sub judice. He said a case had been filed by the Kelantan government against Petronas and the government of Malaysia.

“Such reason is utterly unacceptable because my question relates to the increase of oil and gas royalty payable to Sarawak while the case cited to reject my question is a case between the Kelantan government and Petronas and the federal government, in relation to payment of oil royalty to Kelantan government.”

Chong, also national DAP vice chairman, said yesterday case was not the first time similar question was raised in Parliament.

He recalled being ‘given an answer that beat around the bush without directly answering to my question’ in the June sitting.

“At least, then, there was some answer to my question. This time, when I pressed for further answer, my question was totally rejected.
“This is clearly indicative of the federal government’s intention to delay and evade the question on the demand for the increase in oil and gas royalty to Sarawak from five per cent to 20 per cent.”

He added that the Najib administration had even gone to the extent of disallowing such question to be asked in Parliament.

As such, Chong said the state government must now realise the fact that the federal government had no intention to increase the oil and gas royalty up to 20 per cent as was resolved unanimously at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in May this year.

“Six months have passed since the historic resolution was passed in DUN Sarawak, calling for the increase in Sarawak’s oil and gas royalty to 20 per cent. Yet, not a single indicative word on this matter has come out from the federal government. Now, the matter is not even allowed to be discussed in Parliament.

“It is thus incumbent upon the state government to take further and stronger action to compel the federal government to give effect to Sarawak DUN’s resolution; rather than sit back and wait in vain for an answer or be pushed around,” Chong said.

on Borneo Post (8/10/2014)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Complaint filed against ‘high parking fee’ at Taman Kereta

A formal complaint has been lodged against a corporation that increased the parking rates by more than 100 per cent at Taman Kereta, Jalan Bukit Mata here.
Delivering the document to the state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the hike was implemented after the opening of the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC).
“The operation cost to maintain the carpark has not increased, so how do they justify the more than 100 per cent increase in parking fees?
“By taking advantage of the demand for carparks due to the opening of the UTC and increasing the parking rates by such a huge margin, this is surely a form of profiteering which contravenes the provisions of Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act, 2011,” he told reporters after handing over the complaint to state KPDNKK assistant director Abd Hafidz A Rahim at the ministry’s office here yesterday.
Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said carpark users had to pay RM2 for the first two hours and RM2 for every subsequent hour while neither daily rate nor seasonal rate was offered.
Prior to the new parking rate, he said users paid RM2 for the first two hours, RM1 for the subsequent hour and thereafter 50 sen for every half an hour.
“Not only is there an increase of 100 per cent in parking rate from RM1 per hour to RM2 per hour, it also marks a 260 per cent increase from RM5 to RM18 for those who previously paid the daily rate. And this RM18 is for 10 hours only based on the standard working hours from 8am to 5pm. It may go up to a maximum of RM22 for 24 hours.
“As for those who previously paid season parking rate of RM96.50 per month, taking an average of 20 working days in a month, this entails an increase of 270 per cent increase in parking fee.”
He noted the ministry did not hesitate to take action against hawkers or traders who raised the prices of their goods or services by 10 to 20 per cent.
“I am sure this case will be one of the most justifiable cases for investigation and action on profiteering activity. If no action is taken against the corporation, the general public will perceive your department as condoning such an act.”
He added “it is the policy and calls of the government to discourage the business sector to increase prices unreasonably”.
Following the recent 20 sen hike in RON 95 and diesel, Chong said many people “are already finding the high cost of living unbearable” and hence the corporation should not be allowed to further burden consumers.
Quoting Section 14 of the act, he said: “Any person who, in the course of trade or business, profiteers in selling or offering to sell or supplying or offering to supply any goods or services commits an offence. For the purpose of this act, ‘profiteer’ means making profit unreasonably high.”
When approached by reporters, Hafidz of KPDNKK said it would take a minimum of two weeks for his men to take any action, be it a response to Chong or a solution to the .
“I will need to go through the complaint first and then respond accordingly. Usually, it takes two weeks for us take an action,” said Hafidz.
Among those present were Stampin MP Julian Tan, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong and Batu Kawa assemblywoman Christina Chiew.
on Borneo Post (4/10/2014)