The RM120 million Port Dickson-Seremban privatisation highway

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday, 5th May 1994 on the Ministry of Works during Supplementary Estimates

The RM120 million Port Dickson-Seremban privatisation highway

Recently, the Minister for Works, Datuk Leo Moggie, said that the RM120 million Seremban-Port Dickson highway project will be completed on schedule although several changes have to be made to the original alignment in view of numerous new projects in Port Dickson.

He said that Melewar Consortium Sdn. Bhd. which is undertaking the project, was identifying the affected stretches and working out the additional cost that will be incurred.

Isn’t it true that to date, no work had been started on this privatised Seremban-Port Dickson highway because of the incompetence of the engineering consultant, Jurutera Peruding Daya (JPD) also known in the consultancy field as Jangan Percaya Daya. The JKR is very unhappy with the professional competence of JPD, whose de facto MD, Ravi Dharan, boasts of very close connections with the Works Minister.

During the debate on the Review of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in Dewan Rakyat last December, I had already mentioned Ravi Dharan’s role in the RM230 million Butterworth-Kulim Expressway Privatisation, in connection with hanky-panky in the award of the Letter of Intent to the MMC-led consortium, when other bids as that of Gamuda, were cheaper.

Ravi Dharan seems to be the eminence grise in the Ministry of Works o31 high privatisations.

The delay in the Seremban-Port Dickson highway privatisation project was due to the fact that the original alignment of the road went right through a housing estate. This confirms that JPD failed to carry out a survey on the alignment of the road before submission of tender. The contract on the privatisation of Seremban-Port Dickson highway was signed around August last year, but no work had been done.

Melewar has still not signed the project management agreement with Pengurursan Project Daya, which was incorporated only in November 1993 with Ravi Dharan as one of the two directors.

I understand that Pengurusan Projek Daya has no staff and the EPF should be able to confirm this. Is this the kind of company which is going to manage two privatised highway projects, the RM210 million Seremban-Port Dickson Project and the RM230 million Butterworth-Kulim Project?

I understand that Ravi Dharan claims to have several professional degrees and qualifications which are -non-existent, and that he has flouted Board of Engineers and Treasury Registration Rules for engineering consultants.

Is the Ministry of works unaware that besides a retired ex-deputy director of JKR, JPD has no engineering staff? JPD employes 12 Indian nationals to do their work. These Indians are on a social pass and are depriving Malaysian engineers of work.

A full investigation must be conducted by the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Finance and the Home Ministry into JPD, Pengurusan Projek Daya and Ravi Dharan to establish how Ravi Dharan could become the eminence grise in the Works Ministry on new highway privatisation projects.

In This connection, I call on the Minister of Works to give the latest developments on the RM230 million Butterworth-Kulim Expressway privatisation since I raised this issue in December last year.