JOHOR BARU - At least 14 police projects throughout the country costing RM1 billion (S$0.4 billion) have been delayed, including one for 10 years, mostly because of problems with contractors.
The projects in Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan and Sabah, include a General Operations Force camp, state police headquarters, district control centres, police stations, barracks, extensions to existing buildings and a police museum.
One of the projects has been delayed for 10 years due to problems arising from a land swap deal while work on six others have not even started.
Among the affected projects in Johor include the construction of new blocks for the state police headquarters, a new Nusajaya district police headquarters and the police museum in Bukit Kepong in Muar.
Other projects with problems include new district headquarters in Kelantan and Pahang.
"I can confirm that these projects are either delayed or abandoned midway because of problems with contractors," Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said in an interview.
He said although the ministry was the end-user, contractors were appointed and managed by the Public Works Department, Economic Planning Unit (EPU) together with the Finance Ministry.
He said he and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were working with the agencies to revive the projects, which were launched based on recommendations of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in 2005.
"The Government has done its part by implementing the recommendations but the contractors have failed to deliver," he added.
Wan Junaidi hoped that all future projects would be monitored closely to prevent such problems.
"In addition to projects under the police, other ministry projects including those involving the Prison's Department also face problems caused by contractors," he added.
Last month, The Star reported that the Johor police headquarters had been delayed for 10 months and was only 56 per cent completed.
The project, consisting administrative blocks, a multi-storey car park and housing quarters, was launched in 2010 and was supposed to have be completed on July 18 last year.
It was learnt that the contractor, who employed dozens of Bangladeshi and Indonesian workers, had failed to pay their salaries for at least two months before their services were terminated abruptly.
State public works executive councillor Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the Public Works Department (PWD) had terminated the services of the contractor.
"The project would be re-tendered so that a new contractor can complete the work," he said.
Hasni said he was puzzled over why the company was unable to complete the job despite being given extensions.