If a very wealthy senior citizen's letters were ignored by the former and present BN MB of Perak, as well as the Perak Water Board or Lembaga Air Perak, and the BN-controlled mainstream media, PM Najib's slogan Rakyat tidak dipinggirkan rings hollow indeed. ...unless it is official policy not to respond to rich citizens, only poor ones!
But this rich citizen has proven time and again, he has the rakyat's interest at heart (being a generous philantropist), and has excellent credentials as founder of listed construction companies (Mudajaya and Gamuda), who knows how best to save costs in mega projects for the state of Perak in particular, and Malaysia in general. But good advice seems to fall on deaf ears time and again.
For ignoring Mr. Koon Yew Yin's well-meaning advice in several instances, I cannot help but draw a conclusion that BN never had intentions to save costs for the country... for reasons best known to themselves.
'I refer to Ipoh Echo front page article, 16-30 Nov 2012 ‘Perak Water Board, doing it right the first time’. I wish to point out that building the Sultan Azlan Shah dam across Sungai Ulu Kinta was not the right thing to do.
About eight years ago, I wrote to the former Perak Menteri Besar Tajol Rosli Ghazali to inform that since Mudajaya constructed the filtration system at Parit to extract water from Sungai Perak (the largest source of water to the greater Ipoh region), there was no need to build the dam across Sungai Kinta. As we all know Sungai Kinta is only a small stream in comparison with Sungai Perak.
He did not respond to my letter.
Subsequently I wrote him another letter that he should get a reputable independent engineering consultant to prove me wrong so that when he increased the water rate to recover the additional cost of more than one billion ringgit (this cost includes the dam construction, new filtration system, new reservoirs, distribution pipes, etc.) consumers would not feel cheated.
There was no response from the MB or his aides to this letter too.
In view of the heavy and unnecessary financial burden put on the Perak rakyat, I spoke to the press and pointed out that savings through other methods could possibly amount to half the money spent on the water expansion project in Kinta. The mainstream media predictably failed to publicize my complaint.
Although there is a new administration in Perak, the issue of the mismanagement of Perak’s water resources is as relevant today as it was eight years ago...'
More in CPI: Perak's water system: Doing it wrong