Paying the price for shoddy workmanship

Haresh Says, as published in Mailsport today.

“Terlepas pandang”
It simply means oversight. And that line is often shared by a businessman acquaintance whom I have met on several occasions. Each time we meet, the subject of oversight by the authorities crops up.
“You know-lah, when officials want to cover up their mistakes, they will just brush the issue aside and say terlepas pandang. I’ve dealt with so many government agencies and I think those two words are in their text books somewhere,” he joked during our recent chat.

When national news agency Bernama, had on Sunday, flashed a story about the leakage at a badminton hall hosting the 17th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Kangar, the words “terlepas pandang” crossed my mind. 
This was after the canvas roof at the aquatic complex in the Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Sports Complex was torn apart, disrupting the swimming competition. The golf course was also not ready with the landscaping delayed by a month while the sofas and chairs arrived over the weekend.
Here are some of sporting arenas with shoddy workmanship:

• The roof of the Sultan Mirzan Zainal Abidin stadium collapsed on June 2, 2009 due to design fault and inappropriate materials. The roof collapsed again early last year while undergoing 
re-construction work.
• RM2.3 million was allocated for the upgrading works of the National Sports Council tracks in 2010 but it flooded whenever it rains.
• The roof at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil had been leaking from 2009 and was only repaired in 2012.
• The 10 football fields at the Hang Tuah Sports Complex in Malacca, which hosted the 13th Sukma, was poorly designed as they were placed too close to each other.

There is a serious lack of maintenance where the common excuse would be “lack of funds”. 
Then there is the case of being ignorant and adopting the “tidak apa” attitude during construction, allowing problems to crop up. 
These venues are named after rulers and leaders yet the workmanship do not live up to the standards.
So here are some ‘excuses’ the stakeholders will use when a mishap occurs:

• Roof of a stadium collapses :
The contractors must have terlepas pandang.

• Broken tiles at an aquatic centre:
Those tasked to maintain the centre must have terlepas pandang.
• Tax-payers money wasted on poorly design venues 
Sorry, terlepas pandang.  


Note: 16 police reports were lodged including a fighting incident and three 42-inch televisions that went missing. Hopefully, the organisers will not call this an oversight.

Let’s pandang (look) at the athletes instead

National swimmer Tern Jian Han, who represented Johor, broke the Sukma record after clocking 2:07.02s in the 200m backstroke on Sunday. The old record of 2:07.27s was set by Lim Keng Liat at the 6th Sukma 18 years ago.
The Terengganu women’s 4x400 quartet rewrote a 24-year-old Sukma record after clocking 3:49.45s at the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium on Sunday. The quartet — Azreen Nabila Alias, Siti Nur Afiqah Abdul Razak, Nur Farahana Musa and Nur Shahira Muliadi - erased the old time of 3:52.42s set at the 1990 Sukma.
National pole vaulter Iskandar Alwi soared to 5.15m at the same venue to better his own national record of 5.1m which he set at the Myanmar SEA Games last December.
Overlooking the costly flaws seen in our facilities, it is indeed refreshing to note our athletes are making an impact at the national Games. 
Here’s hoping to see more records broken before the curtains of the Games are drawn tomorrow.


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