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RM519 Million For Istana Negara Maintenance, JKR Clarifies It’s For 7 Year Period

RM519 Million For Istana Negara Maintenance, JKR Clarifies It’s For 7 Year Period

The company previously completed the same project in 2015 for RM82.3 million.

Fernando Fong

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The maintenance cost of Istana Negara caught the attention of Malaysians after it was revealed that a company was offered a contract worth RM519m for the project.

The Public Works Department (JKR), in responding to an online report, clarified that the amount is for a period of seven years which ends this month.

JKR said in a statement that the scope of work comprised an area of 24.1.3 acres and involves several key components.

JKR also emphasised that all maintenance works are carried out as per government guidelines on building maintenance.

It went on to add that the maintenance works are necessary as the palace represents the sovereignty and identity of the nation.

It’s Always About the Money

Netizens have questioned the wisdom of spending such a colossal amount when the people are struggling with rising prices.

The concerns among the public about the expenditure focus on several areas amid a feeling that tough questions have not so far been asked:

  • Whether it is right to commit taxpayers’ money at a challenging time for the public finances.
  • There are concerns that the government could incur further liabilities in the future.
  • In 2015 the maintenance contract was only RM82 million, but seven years later it has increased to RM519 Million which is 5 times more.
  • The RM519 million price is enough to build a new university or hospital.
  • And all this money is the people’s money. 

The company is a public-listed investment holding company which is principally involved in construction activities and integrated facilities management services.

It has been active in the business since 90’s and have now diversified into many sectors such as construction, facility management.

What Do The People Know About The Government’s Finances?

The people are unlikely to shed any tears if the government trims down on maintenance expenses.

They are convinced that the government can ill afford to spend so much money on it.

Netizens said the writing is on the wall since the government is considering to bring back the GST.

There is also the debt of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that continues to put a heavy burden on the country.

At the same time, people are concerned about the expenses incurred by the ministers.

People are sceptical if the overseas trips are necessary, not to mention the retinue of civil servants who usually accompany the ministers abroad.

Hopefully the ministers will get inspiration as they travel across the globe, on how to save taxpayers’ money and use it wisely for the welfare and development of the country. 

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