KUCHING, Oct 16 — PKR’s state assemblyman See Chee How today urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe the construction of the Darul Hana Musical Fountain in front of the State Legislative Assembly building here.
He said the project, which was declared open by Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud two days ago, is excessively priced at RM31 million.
“In view of this, I strongly urge MACC to investigate the fountain project on its cost with reference to scope of work and whether there was any preferential treatment to a particular contractor undertaking the project,” See said.
He also urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg to instruct the state audit department to conduct a performance audit, besides the financial audit of this musical fountain project.
“Prudent project financial management is not just about keeping to the financial allocations, but good governance and regulatory practices in the management of our public expenditure. Sarawak wants no equivocation,” the state PKR vice chairman said.
For comparison, See said the recently completed Darul Hana Bridge or Golden “S” Bridge across the Sarawak River had cost the state RM35 million and the nearly completed floating mosque a few metres upstream is projected to cost only RM10.6 million.
“Is the Darul Hana Musical Fountain such a monumental engineering feat like the Darul Hana Bridge or three times the cost of the floating mosque?” he asked.
“For a musical fountain project to cost RM31 million is overpriced. I don’t think the chief minister and the state government had intended to implement such a wasteful and extravagant project,” he added.
He said the project is also poised to go down in history as “an icon for irrational administration decision”.
He questioned the timing of the project, which started in April, when it was only in July last year that the Sarawak State Assembly approved the allocation under the Ordinary Expenditure of the supplementary budget.
“The musical fountain project which is nothing extraordinary was awarded under a negotiated contract,” he said, adding that it could cost much less if open tenders were called.