Friday, May 23, 2008

Selangor state to go all out to undo wastage - The Star

May 23, 2008 By ELAN PERUMAL, LIM CHIA YING and JADE CHAN at the Selangor State Assembly in Shah Alam

THE Selangor Government has pledged to do its best to rehabilitate and rescue projects that have become white elephants and underused.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said all the projects were inherited from the previous Barisan Nasional-led state government, and it would not be easy to undo all the wastage.

Khalid said during a break at the state assembly that as millions of ringgit had been spent on them, the projects must be salvaged to minimise wastage of public funds.

He was commenting on the front-page story of StarMetro yesterday on mega projects that were underused or abandoned in the state.

Under the heading Massive Wastage, the report said that some mega projects in Selangor amounting to more than RM600mil had become white elephants.

Khalid said property, housing and maintenance committee chairman Iskandar Abdul Samad had been asked to conduct a study on the projects.

“He will have to come up with proposals in order to make good use of these abandoned facilities,” Khalid said.

“We have to do the same with the unsuccessful projects as we cannot just wash our hands,” he said.

On mega projects that have been proposed by the previous state government, Khalid said all such development would be reviewed.

During the question and answer session at the assembly earlier, Khalid had said that the previous state government had taken high risk by implementing development on state land via joint venture projects with private developers.

He said more than 3,000ha of state land had been taken up by private developers for implementation of projects worth RM35bil.

“Thee projects were approved in a rather strange way in which the power of attorney was been given to the developers which means the land would become theirs even if the projects failed,” he said.

“The sad thing is that although the projects are expected to generate RM35bil, the state government gets a revenue of only RM1bil,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the debate on the royal address by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor, Ng Suee Lim (DAP-Sekinchan) said the previous government wasted a lot money on projects which later became white elephants such as the Marine Park at Kampung Sungai Dorani in Sungai Panjang.

“The Marine Park at Sungai Panjang is a waste of taxpayers money because there is hardly anybody visiting the place. The cost of the project has ballooned from RM10mil to RM21mil,” Ng said.

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