No point flogging a dead horse

Further to the letter "No point crying the spilt milk" (The Star July 11), I wish to add that, over the Matrade saga, what the Works Minister did recently was simply flogging a dead horse.

For long nine years when no firm actions were taken by the Ministry of Works, PISB was able to dispose of all its assets, sold the company for a song and was subsequently wound up.

And now, with the shareholders and directors of PISB got off scot-free, only then the Works Minister wanted to initiate action.

It looks like history is repeating itself. The Matrade fiasco is not the only case in recent times.

On the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) fiasco, in which more than 30 concrete piers of the Kepong flyover developed structural defects after completion, the Works Minister appeared to be adopting a similar course of action.

In year 2004, when cracks on the piers' cross-girders first appeared, he insisted that there was no flaw in the structural design and was ready with a remedial-work package to rectify the defects. However, after much public outcry, the remedial work was put on hold and a foreign engineering consultant was appointed to investigate the cause of the defects.

The findings of the foreign consultant revealed that the defects were due to design flaws.

MRR2 was contracted out on a deign-and-build concept like the Matrade building. After the findings, the Ministry of Works should quickly bring to book the parties responsible.

But instead, the Ministry of Works proceeded with the remedial works (costing about RM40 million) and would get the parties responsible to reimburse it later.

The repairs would be completed soon and one wonders whether the Ministry of Works has initiated any action against the parties responsible.

Or is it waiting for the responsible parties to wind up their companies and like Matrade saga, only then locks the stable door after the horses have bolted and flogs the dead ones?

An edited version of the above was published in The Star on 14/07/06 under the pseudonym "Senior Citizen". 2008