Exposure just the tip of the iceberg
 

Hopefully R. Nadeswaran's excellent article under his column "No punches pulled" entitled "Finance Ministry overstepping its sphere of expertise" (The Sun Weekender, Nov 6 & 7) will land on the table of the PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and that of the Director-General of the Anti-Corrution Agency for possible further investigations.

Hats off to Nadeswaran for his daring exposure of the "going-ons" of our central agency known for its arrogance for the past many years. Other central agencies operating similarly from ivory towers may also have such "going-ons" which Nadeswaran may not be aware of.

Three ministries (Finance, Education and Works) are involved besides the Project Management Consultant. The ministers in charge may be forgiven since their involvement may at worst be minimal, but not the officers of these ministries handling the project and responsible for the loss to taxpayers.

The loss to taxpayers in this case may be relatively small since defects only affect a few school and college buildings. But the fear is that this may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Our Malaysian administrative system, acclaimed to be one of the best in the world, has in place a ministry in charge of every affair including heritage affair and every such ministry is manned adequately by experts with many years of experience.

Sad to say, on paper it may be so but in practice the legal power of almost every ministry has been usurped by central agencies. The public may not be aware that officers of these central agencies have been given immense powers to make the decisions on matters which they, most of the time, know little about.

A case in point is the water supply affair. The privatization of PUAS, which is a State matter, has to be referred to a Federal central agency for a final decision.

What has gone wrong with our world-renown administrative system and why? The taxpayers have the right to know!

Notes:
1. The above was published in The Sun Weekend on Nov 13, 04.
2. The above was jointly prepared by A S Toh & LCC.

 
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