Shah Alam Hospital 'ready next October'

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Work on the problematic 300-bed Shah Alam Hospital, which was abandoned in 2010, is scheduled to be completed next October.

Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor said the structural work is 98 percent completed, but that mechanical and electrical works are pending.

Some of the equipment has arrived at Port Klang, and the Public Works Department (PWD) will discuss with the contractors as to when these can be installed, he said.

“The project was re-tendered (at a cost of) RM410 million and work began on Oct 19, 2010. (When completed) the hospital will help ease congestion at the Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang,” he said during a site visit this morning with Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

Shaziman said that Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad’s claims - that there are no workers on the site and that there has been a further delay - are not true.

“There are 750 workers on site and Works Ministry personnel are monitoring (the project) round the clock,” he said, suggesting that Khalid takes a look for himself.

Liow said his ministry has been working closely with the Works Ministry to ensure that the work remains on schedule.

“We have worked closely ... to make sure there is a coordinated effort and I am confident that with its completion, (the specialist hospital will) render good service to the people,” he said.

Liow said the staff-quarters will be completed before the Chinese New Year.

Shaziman had previously told the Dewan Rakyat that construction was 62 days behind schedule, that there had been no activity on the ground since August 2010, and that the services of the main contractor were terminated on Sept 3, 2010.

Up to that date, work was only 27 percent completed instead of the projected 38.9 percent, and RM139.9 million of the expected cost of RM482.6 million had been paid out.

The axed main contractor, Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd, had links to the Selangor palace and had been awarded the project via direct negotiations.

Lessons for the government

Shaziman further said that, by placing PWD officers on site, the contractors could directly seek help if problems arise.

To prevent a recurrence of such situations, he said, the government will select contractors with experience in constructing vital projects like hospitals and schools.

He said he has raised the issue with the cabinet and proposed a selected tender among companies with experience, for projects costing more than RM100 million.

“We will select contractors with relevant experience to handle projects which are abandoned. As the building of schools and hospitals is different from other projects, we will seek experienced contractors,” he said.

He added that other projects are ahead of schedule. These include the Women and Children’s Hospital in Seremban; the Bahau health clinic; Changlung clinic in Kubang Pasu; and Specialist Maternity Hospital in Kuala Terengganu.

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