MBKS Refused to Review Trienekens' Contract. What a joke?

Our Ref: Council/MBKS/Trienekens
Date: 02-10-2007

Acting Mayor and Board of Councilors
Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan,
Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Selatan,
Kuching, Sarawak By Fax & Hand

Dear Sir,

Re: Request for Meeting to Review the Contract between
MBKS and Trienekens over the rubbish Collection Service

I refer to your letter dated 1-10-2007. I am appalled by the nonchalant and couldn’t-care-less attitude adopted by the Council in respect of the Auditor-General’s Report on the privatisation of waste management by your Council.

The provision in the Constitution merely provides for the laying of the Auditor-General’s Report in the Legislative Assembly. Whether it will be debated in the Legislative Assembly is entirely up to each individual elected representative in the Assembly as there will not be any specific agenda in Assembly to debate the Report.

However, the provision in the Constitution does not stop any government agencies from taking steps to improvise and deal with the problems raised in the Report before it is tabled in Dewan Undangan Negeri. Even the Prime Minister has directed all departments to look into the issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Report. Your Council should not shut your eyes to the waste management issue raised in the Report on the pretext that the same has not been laid before the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak.

The reason I request for meeting with your goodself and the full Board of Councilors is not because I wish to enter into debate with your Council. We want to see how best to deal with the Trienekens’ issue to stop the bleed on the Council and so that the Council’s fund can be put to better use instead of continuing paying to the bottomless pit of Trienekens.

If the reason for not having the meeting is because your Council does not have a copy of the Auditor-General’s Report, upon request, I can always provide photocopies of that part of the Report dealing with the waste management issue. Anyway, I believe by now, the Chief Minister’s office, the State Attorney-General’s office and all state government agencies would have copies of the Report. It would be very irresponsible of the State government or the agencies not to try to obtain copies of the Report given the extensive audit work and suggestions made therein.

Even without copies of the Report, I believe those pertinent issues raised in the Report are within the knowledge of your Council, in particular, the issue on cost of the privatisation and its financial burden on your Council. Before privatisation, the cost of waste management to your Council was RM4.8 million per year. A survey was carried out by your Council before privatisation which projected that the cost of waste management would increase to approximately RM6 million a year after privatisation. At the end, the actual costs of waste management to your Council after privatisation went up to RM10 million a year. Such figures are all reflected in the accounts and clearly within the knowledge of your Council.

As such, even if you and your Board of Councilors do not wish to meet with me, nevertheless I urge that you do have a meeting discussing the review of the waste management contract with Sarawak Waste Management Sdn Bhd as suggested by the Auditor-General. According to the Auditor-General’s Report, the contract was supposed to be due for review 5 years after its implementation, ie. Year 2005. It is now Year 2007, which is 2 years overdue. Therefore, a review ought to be carried out urgently.

As Council and Councilors, I am of the view that you owe the rates payers of Kuching a duty to properly manage the rates that they pay. The waste management contract imposes an additional RM5 million expenditure on the Council annually which constitutes approximately 15% of the annual rate collection of your Council. This is not the time to flex one’s ego but the time to save rates-payers’ money.

Meanwhile, for the third time, I shall be much obliged if your Council can furnish me with a copy of the Contract between your Council and Sarawak Waste Management Sdn Bhd.

Thank you for your kind attention and co-operation herein.

Yours faithfully,

Chong Chieng Jen

cc. Permanent SecretaryMinistry of Environment and Public Health Level 2, Bangunan Baitulmakmur Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching By Fax & PostSarawak, Malaysia 082-311391