Updated: In his posting about "competent (and consistent) liars", Big Dog trains his barrel at Tony Pua and Nurul Izzah, the Pakatan duo who have angered many for calling MAHB top execs, including its CEO Bashir Ahmad, "a team of incompetent liars" for the delay in the completion of KLIA2 without "proper facts or basis".
The good, the bad and the ugly. A man is as good as his word, and Hishammuddin Hussein, the acting Transport Minister, has given his word that the KLIA2 will be delivered by end-April 2014. Hats off to him for refusing to be drawn into the finger-pointing game: Just get it done, he told the parties involved after visiting the site last Friday. Loud and clear, no pettiness involved.
To facilitate, a special committee headed by the Deputy Minister of Transport has been set up. The committee will meet regularly to make sure, among other things, that the contractors DO invest the required resources in the project to complete the job on time and that the end-users DON'T make anymore ridiculous demands on "their" so-called low-cost airport. I was told Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad had to accommodate over 100 changes to the original design of the KLIA2 since the start of the project. The last demand was made end-May this year, just a month before the deadline (which was eventually missed)!
Wont be drawn into the blame game, just want the job hdone
As importantly, in my opinion, the committee will shield the parties involved - the contractors, the airport authorities and the end-users (or the good, the bad and the ugly, not necessarily in this order) - from malicious attacks and wild allegations by ill-informed outsiders, especially politicians, and sneaky enemies within.
YB Tony Pua, for example, isn't the only one and certainly not the first to point fingers at the airport authorities; in fact, some people believe the DAP sweeper is actually doing the bidding for powerful people who have been wanting to get rid of the Bashir Ahmad, the internationally-acclaimed chief executive of MAHB. He's even resorted to calling Bashir's execs "a team of incompetent liars". Unfortunately for Pua, Bashir has proved too formidable - PM Najib Razak extended his tenure last month amid the incessant calls for his head over the KLIA2 delay.
Calls people "incompetent liars""
From within, I read with disbelief the call made by Apprentice Asia tv star Tony Fernandez's girl Aireen Omar for an independent panel to probe the KLIA2 delay. Is she too green or too blind to see that Air Asia has been one of the primary reasons for the delay? Or, perhaps, the Air Asia chief executive is doing whatever needs to be done so that Tony F won't tell her, "Youi're fired!"
Some people put the blame squarely on UEM-Binapuri, the contractors. The dude from Binapuri has, in turn, put it down to the fickleness of the end-users, which should include Aireen Omar. A panel will probably tell us who (besides Air Asia) has been at fault but it won't ensure that the airport will be complete as scheduled.
Hshammuddin's committee, on the other hand, has placed both authority over the entire project and accountability in the event of a failure. If anyone has a problem with KLIA2 after this, take it up with Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. I hope the Deputy Minister has been warned about the powerful and sneaky characters he will be dealing with. The only way for his Committee to succeed - and ensure the Rakyat get a bigger and better KLIA2 and on time - is to be brutal, honest and transparent.