Thursday, March 12, 2009
RM528mil Flood Mitigation Project Undone
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad was quoted saying that the independent contractor, who was awarded the RM528mil flood mitigation project to build retention ponds at Jinjang and Batu, had failed to complete the project on time in May 2007 and the delay was one of the main reasons for the March 3 flooding that caused chaos in the city. However, Fuad said he would leave it to the Federal Territories Ministry to decide on the fate of the independent contractor. This is another classic case of letting the unscrupulous off the hook by the authority with no reasonable explanation while the people are left to suffer heavy losses resulting from floods. Can the floods victims sue the authority? The answer is no after the Federal Court's decision in MPAJ v. Steven Phoa Cheng Loon & Ors. whereby the Federal Court held that the authority is granted immunity from liability for such consequences under S. 95(2) of the Street, Drainage & Building Act 1974. Can the victims sue the independent contractor instead? My answer is yes if and only if city hall is cooperative enough by giving full disclosure of the content of the contract and testifying in court against the contractor.
Lim Lip Eng
Lim Lip Eng