Gerakan blames ex-Kedah PAS gov’t over Kuin woes

Kedah state-funded Insaniah University College (Kuin) continues to face problems, with the 2013 Auditor-General’s Report citing several weaknesses in the construction of its campus.

 An audit conducted from September to December 2013 revealed that while construction of the main campus of Kuin was satisfactory as construction procedures were adhered to within the time frame, the auditor-general noted that there was a delay in signing the contract to upgrade its campus in Baling.

 "Land alienation to the state government was not done, work finishing and quality was less than satisfactory (and there were) unused building and equipment," the report says.

 In an immediate response to the report, Gerakan national Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said the issues noted in the audit were the legacy of the former Kedah PAS government, which ruled the state from March 2008 to May 2013.

“It's something that needs to be solved by the current BN government in Kedah,” Tan said. “There's no point in complaining about past problems.

 "We hope the current Kedah BN government will solve the problems. People will see the difference between the BN and PAS governments.”.

Kuin has been in the limelight since July 2011 when hundreds of students protested against the institution's decision to sack five students for taking part in a rally in April that year which urged the management to reconsider using one of the residential college buildings as classrooms for Quran studies.

 A year later, Kuin was again in the spotlight when 200 of its staff members staged a demonstration against their rector, Prof Dr Jamil Osman, for failing to take care of the welfare of the staff and students.

 Last year, the students sent a memorandum to Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir on their refusal to relocate to the new campus, citing reasons that they were not informed of the move earlier.

 The issue was a thorn in the flesh for PAS in the 13th general election in May last year, with rival BN using the problems in the state-owned institution to attack the party.

Construction began in 2009

 The main campus was upgraded to university college status on May 15, 2006, under the Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996.

 The Public Works Department was appointed as project superintendent to administer the contract and supervise project implementation.

 The main campus, covering an area of 280 acres in Kuala Ketil, Baling, was constructed through the 'design-and-build' concept.

 The project was awarded to Kedah Sato Sdn Bhd (KSSB) through direct negotiations.

 The construction cost of RM327.7 million was funded by the Kedah government, using a deferred payment scheme with an annual payback of RM44.5 million from 2013 to 2024.

 Construction started on Sept 14, 2009, and was completed on Jan 21, 2013, with a defect liability period of two years ending Jan 20, 2015.

 The auditor-general in the report proposed several suggestions to get value for money for the construction of the main campus to the Kedah State Secretary’s Office, Public Works Department and Kuin.

 "The state government needs to find alternative funding or new sources of revenue to balance the budget and ensure timely repayments to contractor in order to avoid penalty," the report says.


 It adds: "The state government must expedite land alienation to protect its interest. JKR should ensure all defects are repaired immediately before expiration of the defect liability period to avoid increase in maintenance costs.

 "Kuin should ensure the building facilities are fully utilised to avoid wastage."





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