Why was the contract to manage the Taman Beringin landfill in Kepong given to a company owned by the former Batu Kawan UMNO division chief and his family and which doesn’t have any prior experience in managing landfill operations?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 24th of December, 2013

It was reported that on Saturday, 21st of December, 2013, tons of rubbish were dumped along the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) by contractors because the Taman Beringin transfer station in Kepong was closed. It was later reported that the reason the transfer station was closed was because of broken and non-working compactors.[1]KL Mayor Ahmad Phesal was also reported to have said that the “The Taman Beringin Transfer Station has been facing problems since 2011 after Umpan Jaya Sdn Bhd was appointed by City Hall to manage it.”[2]

One hopes that it was not because Umpan Jaya Sdn Bhd was owned by Dato Mohd Noordin bin Mohd Kassim and his family. Dato Mohd Noordin is the former UMNO Batu Kawan division chief and who passed away in February 2013.[3]

One of the subsidiaries of Umpan Jaya – Idaman Bersih Sdn Bhd – used to operate the Pulau Burung landfill in Penang. But its contract was not renewed because of performance issues as well as the fact that the rates that it was charging was too high.

Given that DBKL had already realized that Umpan Jaya was experiencing many operational problems in Taman Beringin including the lack of maintained garbage disposal trucks and compactors in poor working conditions, why did it not step in earlier to take immediate measure to ensure that the rubbish at the site was being properly managed and transferred to the Bukit Tagar sanitary landfill? Instead DBKL allowed the situation to get out of hand resulting in the emergency situation of mass rubbish dumping which occurred last Saturday.

We ask the Minister of Urban-Well Being, Housing and Local Government to disclose the cost of the management contract given to Umpan Jaya and the reason why this company was chosen. We also ask the Minister to give us the assurance that the parties involved including Umpan Jaya and the rubbish contractors will be investigated thoroughly and if found responsible, that they will be given the necessary punishment and fines. Finally, we call upon the Minister to award the next contract to manage the Taman Beringin transfer station via an open tender rather than just awarding this project to Alam Flora to manage.

P.S. In an earlier version of this press statement, it was stated that Umpan Jaya did not have experience in operating a landfill or a transfer station, according to its website. As noted above, one of Umpan Jaya’s subsidiaries, Idaman Bersih, used to operate the Pulau Burung landfill in Penang.