Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quality of Ministerial Replies

I asked a very specific question, which was scheduled to be answered in the Parliament today at No. 26 (i.e., won't get answered orally but will get written response). I asked the Home Affairs Minister:
...bagaimanakah nilai maklumat dan kedudukan projek mega "Sistem Imigresen 'Single Platform' (SIM). Adakah projek sensitif keselamatan dalam negeri ini diberi kepada sebuah syarikat yang kurang berpengalaman dalam bidan sistem imigresen, yang dimiliki oleh warganegara asing pada masa kontrak ditetapkan?
The reply by the Minister is as follows:
Untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat, Sistem Imigresen Malaysia berasaskan 'Single Platform' (SIM) dibangunkan oleh Syarikat Multimedia Glory System Sdn Bhd adalah syarikat dimiliki warganegara dan mempunyai status syarikat MSC.

Adalah tidak benar syarikat ini tidak berpengalaman dalam pembangunan sistem kerana pada masa ini beberapa modul sistem telahpun siap dibangunkan dan sudahpun beroperasi seperti sistem kawalan pintu masuk di lokasi-lokasi pintu keluar/masuk imigresen seluruh negara, sistem keselamatan, sistem pas sempadan di semua pintu masuk Imigresen Imigresen sempadan Malaysia - Thai dan sistem kawalan depot Imigresen. Malah SIM telahpun menyalurkan maklumat statistik pelancongan kepada TDC secara 'online real-time' pada masa ini.
I'll make a few comments and you can judge for yourself, if the Minister has avoided my questions altogether. Of course, to ask the above questions, I'll have my little birds (more little birds welcome).
  1. The Minister completely ignored my question on the value of the project awarded. What I do understand is that the project is valued at 9 figures.

  2. The Minister evaded my question as to whether the sensitive project was awarded to a company belonging to foreigners at the time of award.

  3. The Minister did not state if the company had the necessary experience to carry out such a sizeable and specialised project at the time of award.

  4. And besides stating certain modules which were apparently implemented, the Minister did not state if there were significant delays to the project, and when it was meant to be completed, and of course, what the Government is doing about it.
From what I can see, the clear lack of transparency and honesty with the answers certainly give rise to greater cause that something isn't particularly right with the project, and more investigation is needed. It is one thing when the Minister is clueless about a particular topic, but another altogether when he is clearly evasive.
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