There was no report from the Meteorological Department of any earthquake. Little bird reported of "tremor" felt near Sentral at Jalan Sentral Stesyen 5 late yesterday afternoon. UEM Builders Chairman, Datuk Abdul Rahim was said to be in a state of shock from the “mild earthquake” after lunch.
Many questions were asked. Who leaked it? How could anyone have known about it? What else do they know? Should we ignore these "housewife, unemployed, and goblog"? The public relation people must be scrambling to figure out a response.
The best tip would be to be honest. If it is possible to get away from us bloggers, God knows of any wrongdoing and irresponsibilities.
To be fair, UEM were trying to solve the problem. They hoped for Government to talk to the Qatar Government. But why did they not take the opportunity when the Emir of Qatar was in town few weeks back? A cat caught their tongue?
Why only try to address the problem now? Why not, when the Qatar Government already threaten to drag them to court in March 2008? Is it because Tun Lah was Chairman of OIC, they will just go … Oh I see?
Much of the problem is due to design problem by Parsons but UEM Group (UEM) did mess up in their execution or in layman term, the construction work, so the Arabs claimed.
The strangest thing is UEM signed a joint and several agreement. It only means that if someone else screwed up and can’t afford to pay up, UEM will have to fork up from their own ass.
The potential loss of QR878,318,972.06 (RM850 million) is serious number. (The conversion rate is RM0.9676 = 1 Riyal.) This does not include contingent liabilities, which could amount to the maximum of QR1.2-.3 billion.
Could it be possible that nobody gave a damn about the Qatar project. Be it at Khazanah, or UEM World or UEM Group or UEM Builder? They may be thinking that having covered up the humongous potential loss, they have set sail free.
It should remind us of Che Khalid of CEO of TNB some years back. When asked of a RM300 million loss in their coal venture in somewhere Borneo, I believe, his answer was that it is insignificant compared to the revenue and profit of TNB.
It seemed business is usual in UEM Builders. On January 24th 2009, UEM Builders gave an appreciation dinner to the staff for the completion of the work in Qatar.
They were in jubilation believing the Qatar project was a success in making further inroad into the Middle East construction market. It is the second for them.
As per written in their website here, the project was “the expansion and upgrading of the Salwa International Highway Phase 1 project which connects Doha to the South-Western town of Abu Samra on the Qatar-Saudi Arabian border.”The staffs were proud for completing the work. There was the customary picture for the album.
"The 81km, dual four-lane highway with 10 major interchanges, 3 camel crossing underpasses and 22 Qatar Petroleum culverts was completed in December 2008.
“It is our singular hope that this success will open the door to many more opportunities, especially in the Middle-East, as we have proven our capability, credibility coupled with quality delivery,” Dato’ Ridza Abdoh, Managing Director of UEM Builders said.
They can be excused because they do not know the whole picture. They have done their part. But are the management ignorance too? More dangerous, are they in-denial to the fact that an OIC member country or a Muslim brother is actually suing them?
According the initiatory pleading by the Works Department, they found the road built by UEM, to quote, “was affected by rainfall and cleavages as well as earthwork appeared in the parts that were built before the old paving. It was also noticed the appearance of some earthwork after rainfall…”On the other side of the coin, a commentator on Dato Mavs’ blog here quoted the following report:
Item 8 to 11 was focused on Parsons design mistake. Item 12-14 concerns the mistake of both Parsons and UEM for not making extraneous effort to address deviation between the situation on site and design.
To quote, they “committed a serious mistake by not undertaking to study again the WSN for the old paving …” There was “the presence of air voids at a high leel in the asphalt layer in comparison with the acceptable value for good performance.”
They expected that in their capacity as “a multinational company specialised in road execution projects, to discover the design mistake and inform the plaintiff to this effect.” This statement is really malu (shameful).
Upon finding the damages, The Public Works Organisation of Qatar had to employ 11 other companies to redo the work. This will be coming as the next lawsuit to demand the cost of ramification of the project.
Flaws in Salwa road pavement constructionAll these issues are for Engineers and lawyers to slog.
Source: The Peninsula
DOHA - The Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology (QGOSM) has said that there was clear evidence of a structural failure in the construction of the pavements of Salwa International Highway.
Attending a joint meeting of concerned officials, convened by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to look into the massive cracks developed on Salwa International High way, the QGOSM nominees said that there was very clear evidence of extensive fatigue cracking. At the meeting they expressed their serious concern about the use of the Type 5 pavements utilising a specific crack-arrest- layer (GSB).
Top Ashghal officials, who attended the meeting, wanted the Parson International Ltd (PIL), the company responsible for the design work for phase 1 of Salwa International Highway, to clarify the details of the joint interface between Type 5 pavement and the full depth construction type 1 pavement. They also asked the company why a full-depth construction had not been adopted in accordance with Qatar Highway Design Manual (QHDM).
The PIL clarified that the pavement design was done according to the findings of a report prepared on behalf of Roads Department of Government of Qatar.
Henry Saville, currently Parsons Sector manager for Roads and Highways in Europe, said that though the PIL did not agree with the contents of the report, they had been required to base their design on the contents of the ERI report which stated that the structure of the existing road pavement was adequate for the traffic loading foreseen.
Saville, who said that he was responsible for the design works of the highway, added that the design thickness of the required granular sub base layer was increased by 20 per cent in order to accommodate any increase in traffic as well as to allow for then likelihood of overloaded trucks and tyre pressures in excess as anticipated by ERI report.
Responding to a query from Ashghal authorities, the PIL confirmed that a `crack arresting layer' was not included in the pavement type in the Qatar Highway Design Manual (QHDM). It said that a granular subbase crack arresting layer, which was used in Salwa Road project, had been used in road pavement rehabilitation in at least three other nations including Vietnam, Greece and Romania and it was performing satisfactorily in these countries.
The PIL pointed out that sections of the new road, where the Type 5 pavement had been constructed on Salwa Road, had been under traffic pressure for many months. But no pavement distress was recorded. The pavement developed cracks only after the heavy and incessant rains in the beginning of December 2006. “A series of tests had been carried out on materials taken from the failed areas, as well as on samples taken from other areas of type 5 pavements. The test results indicated that the materials used had fully complied with the specific standards", the PIL said.
The volume of traffic had increased over twenty per cent allowed for in the original design. It also suggested Ashghal to carry out a Benkelman Beam test (BBT)...
For the public, they should be concerned for the financial liabilities from subsequent claims. What is the final claim on UEM? Furthermore, what if Parrson and Qatar Insurance defaulted? These has financial ramifications on the nation and rakyat.
In another twist, little bird said Dato’ Izzaddin Idris may not join UEM Group with this revelation. He was hoping to be there for a rest to do launching, ceremonies, and “kissing babies”.
In the meanwhile, we await UEM Group response before making more comments and maybe revealing more.