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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Air Has Been Cleared




Make no mistake about it, did all of us notice it, this "clearing of the air" effect, on waking this morning? Did the air smell better, fresher and cleaner? Has the haze index dropped? BERNAMA says that "Samy Vellu Clears The Air". And how long did it take for him to do this, 35 minutes or so long.

Excerpts from the BERNAMA report ::
Samy Vellu said he met with Abdullah for 35 minutes at the Prime Minister's office at 2pm and he "cleared the air" on allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the ministry.....
"As far as the PM is concerned there should not be any misconception. I have cleared the air on the projects and have submitted all the reports on the six projects. He has asked me to submit the papers and explain the matter to the cabinet tomorrow, which I will do," he told a press conference at his ministry here.....

As to whether the Works MINIster is empowered to give out contracts ::
He said: "The minister does not give out contracts. It is the tender evaluation board that consists of various parties, including Finance Ministry officials, who make the decision.
"They decide on who would get the contract without the knowledge of the minister and the tenders are approved by the Finance Ministry, not Works Ministry."

Samy seems to have made things so very simple. But who is he trying to kid when he makes it out that the Works MINIstry and Works MINIster have no hand in the approval of tenders and contracts? All tenders definitely require the appproval of the finance MINIstry but before that, the Works MINIstry must be involved in the selection of contractors for the projects, so how can it be that contracts are approved without the knowledge of the MINIster and his boys/girls. Is Samy trying to "clear the air" or "muddy the air" and looking for a convenient "kambing hitam" at the same time?

Why is Samy just harping on the issue of contract and tender approvals? What about the selection of contractors, project designs and subsequently the monitoring and supervision when the projects are being carried out? And finally when the projects are finished, who checks that work done is up to standard before being handed over? Is the Works MINIstry not involved? Or are we to believe that all these are the work of the Finance MINIstry and the Works MINIstry has no knowledge at all? If so, then why do we have a Works MINIstry? Obviously the portfolio of the Works MINIster is redundant. As all other MINIstries would eventually require the Finance MINIstry to approve financial matters pertaining, in line with Samy's thoughts, only the Finance MINIstry is relevant. So all that this country really need is a Finance-cum-Prime MINIster in the cabinet. i rest my case, time for tea and a short nap.




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