Govt seeks to revive projects

Putrajaya: Abandoned projects funded by the public need to undergo technical assessments to help the Government find ways to revive them, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

"Some of the abandoned projects have obvious shortcomings arising from human error and carelessness. The parties entrusted with the projects had failed to fulfill their responsibilities.

"We need technical assessment on all these projects to ascertain which ones can be revived and which are beyond repair," the Prime Minister told a press conference after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Good Governance here yesterday.

He said some of these projects were almost completed but were abandoned because certain parties were careless.

He said the Government had spent a lot of money on these projects, which included school building, and some were only 25% uncompleted.

He has directed the Works Ministry to liaise with other relevant ministries and agencies to revive projects that have been identified.

"If some of the unfinished buildings have been badly damaged because they have been abandoned for too long, we need to know what can be done to rectify them," he said.

Abdullah also touched on the need to increase allocations for maintenance of government buildings as a long-term "cost-saving" measure.

"I have to say that the culture of maintenance is very poor. That is why buildings are facing all sorts of problems, even though some are not very old.

"If the problems are allowed to worsen, we may have to fork out more money to repair them later," he said, adding that reports indicated that damages to buildings were often the result of vandalism and normal wear and tear.

Abdullah said the meeting also discussed the backlog of divorce cases in Syariah Courts.

"The majority of the cases are a result of the husbands and wives not agreeing on dates to settle their cases.

"But the Government recognises that there is a need for more Syariah Courts and Syariah judges," he said.

Later in Setiu, Terengganu, Abdullah advised fishermen to venture into aquaculture, where a single fish they rear could fetch more than RM200 in markets such as Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

"You must only breed high quality fish for export instead of poor quality ones, which are a waste of time.

"In the sea, the catch depends on luck and you can return with a miserable catch," he said when visiting the Kuala Setiu aquaculture project in Kampung Gong Batu here.

Fifty-three entrepreneurs are undertaking the project in 1,552 cages in the 400ha site in Kampung Gong Batu.

Later, Abdullah, assisted by several fishermen, injected Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin into a 4kg siakap. The hormone induces faster spawning.

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