RM10 million shariah court still incomplete after 5 years

A visit by auditors found the three-storey building unpainted, courtroom furniture scattered about and air-conditioning units left unpacked along the corridors.

GEORGE TOWN: A RM10 million shariah court complex project in Penang remains unfinished despite construction beginning five years ago.

According to the second series of the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report, the contractor for the Central Seberang Perai Shariah Court complex was changed twice since work began in 2013.

The project is now awaiting its third contractor, engaged through a limited tender process.

“Initially, the project was awarded through an open tender process to Contractor A, but it failed to complete the project and had its services terminated.

“Then, a second contractor was appointed by the state executive council through a direct negotiation process to complete the court building at a cost of RM10.30 million.

“Contractor B also failed to complete the project, despite being given an extension three times until the end of February 2018,” an excerpt from the report read.

Auditors have now learnt that another “limited tender” will be called, where a group of 10 contractors will vie to complete the project.

The cost of the third tender has yet to be determined. The re-tendering process is being carried out by the Public Works Department.

On June 27, auditors found the project site still boarded up, with the exterior of the building left unpainted. Courtroom furniture was scattered about, and air-conditioning units left unpacked along the corridors.

The auditors estimate that only 83% of the project has been completed.

In an immediate response, state Public Works Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the project was initially abandoned and later taken over by the state government.

He confirmed that a third tender process is ongoing and will close tomorrow. He added that the court is situated on Jalan Betek in Bukit Mertajam.