By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, on Thursday, 13.8.1987 in Petaling Jaya.
Antah Biwater has a duty to convince the engineering community that there is no available local professional of required experience and expertise to justify employment of expatriates.
Yesterday, a four-man DAP Parliamentary Group comprising Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, DAP Deputy Security-General and MP for Bukit Bintang, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, DAP Vice Chairman and MP for Kepong, and Dr. Eng Seng Chai, MP for Petaling and myself met the Chairman of Antah Biwater, Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tunku Jaafar and the Managing Director of Antah Holdings, Tunku Imran ibni Tunku Jaafar, for an hour-long discussion on the employment of expatriate engineers and professionals in the $1.4 billion rural water supply scheme project.
We expressed our concern at the displacement of local engineers by British expatriates in the Antah Biwater joint venture. Tunku Naquiyuddin said that Antah Biwater was aware of its national duty and it would not employ expatriates if there are available Malaysians with the requisite experience and expertise in the job market. He said that the scale and system involved in trying to deliver 174 rural water supply schemes in 13 states in 4 ½ years has made it necessary for Antah Biwater to employ expatriate engineers with the experience to implement so big a scheme in so short a time frame.
We stressed that Antah Biwater has a duty to convince public opinion and in particular the engineer community that there is no available professional of required experience and expertise to justify employment of expatriate engineers.
I suggested that Antah Biwater should meet with the Malaysian Professional Engineering Associations to convince them that the employment of British expatriates was necessary because of the absence of Malaysian professionals with the requisite experience in the local market.
Both, Tunku Naquiyuddin and Tunku Imran said the company was prepared to meet with the local professional engineering associations if approached.
In our talks, we also discussed the registration of British expatriate engineers with the Malaysian Board of Engineers and the use of local goods and services for the 174 rural water supply schemes instead of importing them from United Kingdom.