C4 wants residents to exercise oversight on MBPJ

MBPJSHAH ALAM: There are reports of kerbs crumbling and construction material disintegrating even before the work is completed, said Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) Directors Cynthia Gabriel and Richard Yeoh in a statement. “It appears that the materials are not as per tender award specifications.”

C4 quotes zone councilor Derek Fernandez: “This type of conduct can amount to several offences including cheating, breach of contract, abuse of power, corrupt practices and conduct jeopardizing public safety and money,”

The statement called for a residents’ reporting mechanism to be set up with immediate effect. “We hope the Mayor will act against errant contractors and officers responsible.”

It’s high time that all stakeholders including residents and rate payers have the avenue to raise such malpractices and expect immediate remedial action, added Gabriel and Yeoh. “For too long residents and rate payers have complained about such shoddy practices without much visible accountability on the part of the authorities.”

C4 was expressing alarm over recent press reports that public civil works in Petaling Jaya, in particular kerb works for the One Way Loop (OWL) traffic system estimated to cost RM23 million was being done in a shoddy manner. “Road medians and drains were similarly affected by substandard construction.”

Proposals to MBPJ to set up a budget monitoring committee for more effective watch on jobs contracted out, haven fallen on deaf ears, thus far, lamented C4. “Councilors and civil society groups including C4 have asserted this important need for better oversight.”

“The committee should comprise community leaders to provide better transparency in the spending of public money as well as minimize the risk of cheating or abuse of power.”

MBPJ, warned C4, manages an annual budget that exceeds the budget of the smaller states such as Kedah, Perlis and Negeri Sembilan.

The statement, elsewhere, said that C4 believes that the public taxpayer was entitled to a proper accounting and tight supervision when public funds are used for public infrastructure and amenities. “The culture of accountability and transparency of use of public funds must be upheld by all public agencies and especially by local councils.”