Media Statement by Johore DAP Policy Director and Senai State Assmeblyperson, Wong Shu Qi on 26 June 2014 (Thursday):
Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government should clarify their intention to implement the incinerator projects in Melaka and Johor – whether through open tender or by back room direct negotiations.
I am surprised to learn from the report of New Straits Times today that the incinerator projects in Melaka and Johor will be awarded to KUB Malaysia Bhd through direct negotiations. (http://www.nst.com.my/node/6422)
It was reported earlier this month that the incinerator in Bukit Payung, Johor would be awarded through an open tender process.
Moreover, KUB Managing Director Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Wan Ahmad confirmed last week also that the company will “bid from the government”.
However, the report carried by New Straits Times today has definitely made the situation becoming hazy and I call upon the Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan to clarify what is his plan for the proposed incinerators in Melaka and Johor. Does he intend to do a back room direct negotiation deal with politically linked KUB group?
In fact, incinerator technology is not something new that only a handful of specific companies have the ability to build or have patented the technology. Hence, it is surprising to find out that there are considerations to award these projects through direct negotiations which is only justifiable under extraordinary circumstances. In Malaysia, however, direct negation deals continue to plague us and the only beneficiary of such model is selected elites.
Undeniably, waste management is a critical issue as the sheer amount of waste produced by Johoreans is at 3,600 tons, daily. Worldwide, in terms of waste management hierarchy, the top priority is prevention or reduction of waste, followed by recycling and reuse.
Building incinerators should not be the priority. Incinerators is not the silver bullet to solve all waste problems. Our government is either confused, or trying to mislead the public by selling the idea about incinerator being the best solution for our waste problems.
We hereby urge the ministry to clarify if the projects have been or will be awarded through direct negotiations. If not, when and how the bidding process will be conducted is a matter of public interest and it is the Minister’s duty to disclose information or risk further erosion of trust in the government’s accountability.
Wong Shu Qi