|MP a blast from the past, warns QEH consultant|
|Joe Fernandez | Dec 5, 08 12:58pm|
|Ikram (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, the consulting engineers for Kota
Kinabalu’s largely abandoned Queen Elizabeth Hospital, last night drew
curious parallels between Kota Kinabalu MP Hiew King Cheu, the Health
Ministry and Public Works Department (PWD) on their approach to the ailing
general hospital over the past decade.
“For the past 10 years or so, the relevant authorities including PWD and the ministry have been adopting the same attitude as Hiew - carry out repairs as and when and where necessary until the condition of the tower block reached a critical stage,” disclosed Ikram executive director Vincent Tan (photo).
“How can I go against my conscience and professional ethics to say that we should not demolish the building, knowing full well that it is in critical condition? Who should be held responsible if the building collapses one day?
“I don’t think I want to be held responsible and neither do I believe
the minister concerned will want to be held responsible.”
Tan reiterated his exception to Hiew’s suggestion that three
professional bodies should be allowed to take a closer look at Ikram’s
various estimates including that of demolition of the tower block and
reconstruction on the same site at a cost of RM24.58 million - RM820,000
more than the repair option.
'No vested interest'
“I even made special arrangements for him to sit in the VIP area with several copies of the (three-volume) Ikram Report placed on the coffee table next to him. But sadly, he didn’t bother to read (the report), not even a single page.
“Many of those who attended raised many questions on the issue. Hiew only came forward to make a political speech, accusing the government of not doing its job, as well as questioning the proposed purchase of the new Sabah Medical Centre.
"Except for disputing the estimated cost for the structural repairs, Hiew didn’t raise a single technical question although the PWD engineers and I were present.”
The forum was followed by a guided tour of the building and site inspection.
According to Tan, Hiew excused himself and left the venue “since he had to rush off to the airport to attend the parliamentary sitting in Kuala Lumpur”.
Also included in the site inspection were representatives who, Hiew had earlier claimed, “had no chance to inspect the structural integrity of the affected building”.
The heads of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia Sabah branch,
Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia Sabah branch and the
Malaysian Institute of Architects Sabah chapter had
yesterday that their presence at the forum should not be taken as
indicating a stand either in favour of or against any decision taken by
the authorities concerned on the future of QEH.