View Full Version : 1st world infra, 3rd world maintenance

18-11-2003, 12:26 PM
This morning, the Putra LRT had technical problems again. Seems to be every time there is a heavy down pour - they will have technical problems. But the problems was not there when it was first running. So it seems to point to perhaps that we don't maintain what we build well. I remember talking to a Telekom engineer once on preventive maintenance or what we call Penyelengaraan (did I spell it correctly?). He gave me a blank look and then said that they don't even have enough resource to attend to problems - let alone fix things before the problem. So if it ain't broke, you ain't got to look. I wonder how long before my current working place's lifts (Petronas Twin Tower) will start to fail. Seems there is no preventive maintenance either. Look at the public toilets in Suria KLCC. Many of the auto-flush sensors are now replaced with manual. Perhaps it makes sense. And all the handi-cap toilets are "perpetually" locked. Guess it means there is one less toilet to clean. But on every darned floor? What do you guys think?

18-11-2003, 01:02 PM

Beside maintenance, it is also the users mentality that counts. Just look at the public phone booths. It is normal to find out of 5 booths maybe 1 or 2 only works. And some of the handle is missing!

Another example is the newly introduced pole barriers erected on some USJ road junctions to prevent unauthorised access. Not even a day after the pole being erected, someone already knocked it out. Maybe a kopi licensed driver. What a joke!

18-11-2003, 01:47 PM
True about the user mentality. I remember seeing posters in some toilets about remembering to flush after use, not to squat on toilet seats, etc. Some of these things I guess are common sense but not in this country? Violence remains to be a way of letting off steam as well in this country. Many a dust bin in MidValley Megamall bears the dent caused by someone kicking them in. And of course in some apartments, you see burnt marks in the plastic portion of lifts which obviously are caused by cigarettes.

But these things aside, how are we maintaining our infra-structure as a whole? I now commute to work on KTM and often I notice that the tracks are beginning to rot (the supporting planks under the tracks). Does it take a de-railment to happen before they get replaced? I shudder to think of that happening during rush hour.

18-11-2003, 02:08 PM
Do not squat on toilet seats? haha. That's a first for me. The strangest one I have seen is "Do not spit in the lift". These are the kind of things that tourists take photos of to show their friends and family for a good laugh.

Anyway, as for maintenance, not too long ago I was staying in a friend's apartment (brand new I might add), a 'condominium' actually, when at that time they discovered that one of their ceilings are rotting away, due to a leaking pipe in between their apartment and the apartment above theirs. They called the maintenance guys, which were being paid some RM 300 per month or something ridiculous like that, and they took a week or two to turn up. When the maintenance guy did turn up, he saw the blackened ceiling and said in cantonese "Oh, that is a burst pipe above your ceiling, if you leave it long enough the water will leak into your apartment". To which my friend replied "How long will you take ti fix it?" He then laughed "Oh, you want us to take care of it? I think you better ask someone else to fix it coz if you wait for us it will be too late" !!!!!!!. Utter madness. If I understood what they were talking about I would have slapped him across the head! What nerve!

18-11-2003, 02:46 PM
The problem we have is everyone is trying to make a fast buck and they way to do it is to cut corners and maintenance, what's that?

18-11-2003, 03:52 PM
Aliran: Highway takeover sends wrong message

Tuesday, November 18 @ 10:47:54 MYT


ALIRAN is appalled by the Federal Government's recent decision to take over the Seremban-Port Dickson highway simply 'because the concessionaire, SPDH Sdn Bhd, is losing money due to poor toll collection'.

The 30km-long highway had failed to attract a high volume of motorists as the toll rate was considered high.

The government's takeover of the highway goes against the very philosophy of normal business - that one has to take risks and losses.

This controversial takeover gives the wrong message that it's all right to fail in a venture because the government will be there to back you up.

Surely, this is not what the much-touted Malaysia Inc. of the previous prime minister is all about - or is it?

Why should taxpayers, particularly road users who have paid their road tax, be compelled to foot the bill in the form of a government takeover of failed privatised highway projects? - um

18-11-2003, 07:36 PM
Malaysia is seriously bad when it comes to maintenance. If people who are being paid to maintain a place, dont like their jobs or cant be bothered to do a decent job , they should just go home.

Also equally serious is vandalism. Many times over, I've mentioned CCTVs in every nook and corner. Works here. We even get to see the vandals on the news. Don't know who they are? No worries, once it is on the news, just read the toll-free number to call and report the culprit if u know who he/she is. You get a reward, the creature is caught and fined. What's good also , is that the culprit has his/her mug all over the news. Everyone gets to see what a sicko he/she is.
Argh.. thinking about it makes me so angry. Vandals hv brains stuck in their rear.

18-11-2003, 09:06 PM
i was just talking to a friend today about maintenance in malaysia. i noticed we're very proud about acheivements, winning prizes, tallest this, biggest that, longest etc. etc. etc.... but where maintaining basic things like toilets..... malaysia is HORRIBLE.

the toilets are the dirtiest i've ever seen. definitely the dirtiest in a developed nation. not only do malaysians not bother to pee in the hole, they can't be bothered to flush... if the flush is even working. hardly any maintenance takes place. it's horrible, but one of the factors i take into consideration when taking foreign friends for dinner is whether or not the toilets are clean...... dirty toilets are unacceptable to foreigners, and we should implement that standard.

the apartments i live in in sri hartamas just opened about two or three months back. i'm sorely disappointed. the developers, mayland property, have done a horrible job. there are frequent leaks, numerous neighbours have complained about bad workmanship in their apartments, poor flooring, leaking toilets, etc., problems with the car park, damage to their cars, etc. etc., but they have a Tidak Apa attitude. why? because they've sold the units. now they're interested in selling more units elsewhere, but the maintenance started to slide down immediately after they handed the keys over to the owner.

someone tried to steal my car. there were the marks at the side of the door where the lock is on the other end. luckily i came back to the car ten minutes later. when i approached the management about the situation, their excuse was that there was a sign up that said "park at your own risk". hence they had no responsibility.

what asses.

i'm so glad i rent. i swear i'm never going to buy apartment or condominium property in malaysia.

the sad thing with our country is that no one puts in enough effort. even if you ask the individual to bother to write letters and make an issue of thiings, they won't care enough to. i tried to mobilise a few other residents to make a move on this... so far only one did, and not that much of a move either. it's quite disheartening.... in the end i gave up and made way for myself, afterall..... i'm not the one with the investment in the place. thankfully.

as for me.... i'll FLUSH.



18-11-2003, 09:16 PM
I couldn't agreed with you more, maintenance is a word without its meaning, especially in M'sia.
I do not know about you, but I noticed that M'sian coop bdgs like to use very cheap state-of the-art' parts, imported from somewhere so that nobody knows where's their origin were in order to impressed the tender committe so that the high price quoted are justified.

Things such as toilet flush sensor, copper tooled sinks & faucet etc are some examples. All these parts are only good for the 1st few months or after the grand opening. After that all these start to fall apart & no replacement parts can be found anywhere locally or even abroad. Also, the care taker who bits for the maintenance are also using imported labour, skilled with inverted commas.
It s very funny, we have local colleges & technical schools to train skill technician but we don't see their graduates around. Where are all our technician? They may be Managers with suit & tie, managing the imported labour perhaps. When you look around public places even in some pravate places the maintenance & repaired areas are always the problem area.
Airconds maintenance are another typical example too, only cold in the rainny days & warm in the hotter days.

18-11-2003, 09:41 PM
in italy the paint on the walls has to last a minimum of FIFTEEN YEARS on the walls without peeling.... and this includes walls on the outside of the house. the temperature in italy fluctuates between -20C to 50C.

quality control is strict. but people have to pay.

are malaysians the kind to pay?


19-11-2003, 09:06 AM
Pay for maintenance? Often a lot of condominum complexes falls into disrepair because the tenants don't believe they should pay for the maintenance of the swimming pool, the shrubs, the drive way, etc. That's one of the reason why I don't like to stay at Condos. I know those condos with a lot of expats tend to get better maintenance because it gets paid but then I (sorry, no disrespect or anything like that) don't like to live in an expat community.

This morning was a double whammy for me. My monthly ticket for KTM commuter failed to work. Promptly walked up to the counter at Subang Jaya station only to be told that I have to go to the KL Sentral station for it to be fixed. Luckily for me, that was my destination. So I did. Reported to the counter there only to be told to come back in the afternoon. Surrender my card and come back for it. A lot of trust I guess is required as I am not given a receipt but I guess the most I can lose is RM 64 which is the value of the card. Ok - fine. Smiling, I hop over the Putra LRT. Darned. My touch n Go card failed to work. Went to the counter. I have to go to the Masjid Jamek station to get it fixed. Why? Just that that was the designated place for such things. And I better hurry as they are only open from 7:00 am till 9:30 am? Ok. Bought a regular ticket and went there. It was fixed just by correcting my previous transaction which failed due to their reader at Subang Jaya that failed to transmit my exit of my journey yesterday. So I get inconvienienced for no fault of mine and of course by stopping at Masjid Jamek instead of KLCC, I incurred an additional RM 1.30. Never mind. Went out of the Masjid Jamek station to buy myself the biggest packet of nasi lemak and went onward to KLCC. Masjid Jamek is by far the largest Putra station I have ever seen but it seems to be falling into disrepair. Sad.

Reached my office in KLCC. Pressed the button after 42nd floor to get to my floor. Noticed that 2 of the 6 lifts have been "under maintenance/repair" since I started here. Asked my colleagues and they said it has been like that for as long as they can remember. Sad sad sad.

19-11-2003, 06:51 PM
actually joecool you have to pay for maintenance or you're penalised and fined if you live in condos.

the condos i live in.... people here are not cheapskates. they pay but they're not getting their fair share.

developers are so damn lazy. they build the building and make their money and they snooze off.

i swear against all mayland property.... badly built, shoddy rubbish marketed in a nice package for innocent consumers.


19-11-2003, 08:38 PM
EJ., you are on the subject of painted wall on buildings . The CONtractors here would just use any cheapskate paint materials. Common brands of paint you see they use are those "Cap Ah Beng", "Cap Unta" & "Cap Kapal Terbang" paints, made in somewhere Sungai Buluh jungle fringes where they can just dump the toxic wastes anywhere they like without being caught . My house in USJ is barely three years and the white paint on my front gate is now turning black. Less than 3 years!

I will have to spend another 3 to 4 K painting the exterior soon.

19-11-2003, 09:30 PM
on the subject of paints i was wondering....

would u guys be more willing to spend twice as much money on paint that would last you 15 years, or spend half the amount on cap unta ici rubbish and have to repaint in about a year and a half...


20-11-2003, 09:05 AM
I would spend as little as possible. Don't want to be stuck with a color that I might not like. Spending as little as possible allows me the choice to paint again in say 3 years time? or when my neighbour decides to paint her wall shocking pink? And then I will paint mine deepavali purple to match (sorry, not meant to be a racist but just that the color reminds me of deepavalli and barney).

Maintenance of a condo is normally done by the developer or its agent until a certain number of years. Then it is up to the residents to appoint a company to do the maintenance. I think. Some places like for example the Ridzuan Condo in Sunway - it started off as a nice project but due to non-payment of maintenance there was little money to pay security guards. So the pool was constantly patronized by non residents who decides to take their bath there. Yup. Those people from the next door shacks illegally built. No showers there - so why not go for a swim next door. Recently they are forcing all the residents to pay up by installing a contactless gate control and will not release the key to those with outstanding bills. Hope this works.

20-11-2003, 10:43 AM
EJ - Without a doubt I would pay the extra money for better paint. I just painted my parents's house and it is much more difficult than it looks (the fact that my dad wanted to paint the dark blue wall white did not help either...). I am not touching another paint brush for a long long time...

20-11-2003, 11:31 AM
I just moved to an apartment developed by uep. I repainted the walls and after the paint had dried, after a week I taped the edges to paint the door frames and you know what happened when I lifted the masking tape, the tape just lifted off the new plus the old paint and all that was left was the bare cement wall. I had to repaint the entire wall all over again. Drilled into the wall to hang my curtains and you know whole chunks of concrete fell off and I am not too sure if the curtains would fall on me one of these days. I bought it 2nd hand but it has not been lived in before and the warranty period has long expired. I checked the paint with my bare hands and I tell you it is rough to the touch n it was flaking.

20-11-2003, 01:19 PM
hi guys, thanks for yr views.

i spoke to some paint manufacturers once... they told me they did not want to market premium paint in msia because if they did so, some moron cap unta brand would steal the chemical composition, manufacture his own brand of the same thing, and the company would not be able to make the money they invested in the research back.

it's sad, huh... because of our inability to control the crime and imitation products, malaysians get cut out from the good stuff.


20-11-2003, 02:52 PM
saml, one thing to keep in mind when putting nails or screws into the wall -

When the raw wall was prepared, the plasterer will put on a layer of cement before it gets painted. That layer will be at least half an inch thick. Hence, do not use nails or screws that are less than 1 inch. A half-inch screw will just use the layer of plaster or cement as support. Certainly, a heavy curtain will pull off the wall unless your screws bite into the brick wall for better support. By the way, bricks are about 4 inches deep - hence you have up to 2 inches to play with.

20-11-2003, 11:22 PM
It's all about the money guys....you want maintenance, then you or somebody has to pay for it.
Here in Msia my friend only pays around RM170 for his condo, which includes parking lot, swimming pool, etc, etc. For my brother's apartment in New York he has to pay $650...that's close to around 30% off how much he would get if he rented it out. 30% of a rental is for maintenance.....and his apartment has no parking space, no pool...nothing.
In Indonesia, i notice that in each of it's hotel like restrooms it has one guy there on standby to clean....one for each restroom! Those spotless bathrooms are spotless man......of course not everywhere is like that, but at least Msia should have something close to that for its KLCC Mall.

21-11-2003, 09:59 AM
Problem strikes! I was supposed to be home on time for dinner yesterday but funny I should depend on KTM commuter train being dependable. At 7:00 pm, I was waiting for the 7:10 pm traini only to hear it will be late due to technical problems. Then the delay became 7:40 and eventually at 7:50 pm, it finally arrives. By then the platform was full of people wanting to go home. So everyone packed into the train when it arrives giving you the Putra LRT feel. Sardine packed. As it went down the track, it swerved as usual at the tracks near the Petaling stop and I could have sworn it almost derailed if not for the weight of a full packed train. Isn't there some specification for how many people can be on the train for it to operate safely? Guess not known. Another funny thing is that right after KL Sentral towards Subang and just before the Subang stop, the train will actually lose all its power and then regains it but throwing the train into total darkness. It is predictable as I guess the problem is the power grid has a break in that small stretch. The train actually loses all its power and then regains it later. I am pretty sure the driver has to restart the train after it cruises over that break. One thing did happen is one man took advantage of this and groped some lady's butt when it went into total darkness for 3 seconds. She quickly activated her mobile phone to have some lights but by then the incriminating hand was away. This is so bad and I could see some mat salleh grinning away and chuckling at our system. If the break in power is so unavoidable, why can't they install emergency lights? and why can't the break in power grid be fixed? I am sure the train is going through unnecessary wear and tear just restarting at least twice every journey. I understand KTM makes tons of money in this Port Klang - Sentul route.

24-11-2003, 01:11 PM
Dirty breeding centre caused Malaysian rhino deaths: report

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (AFP) - Laboratory results have revealed that the deaths of five rare Sumatran rhinoceroses at a Malaysian breeding centre were caused by a bacteria present only in an unclean environment, a report said Monday.

The rhinos, which died within two weeks of each other, were suffering from colisepticaemia, which is linked to E.coli, the New Straits Times said.

The bacteria are only present in unclean environments and visitors to the centre noted that the animals were fed off the same floor they defecated on and that general hygiene was poor, the paper reported.

Animals which could have been carriers of the killer bacteria, including cockroaches, monkeys and rats also frequented the centre, it said.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest of the five types of rhino and one of the world's rarest large mammals.

Only about 300 of the animals are left worldwide, mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, their numbers having been slashed to a dangerously low level by poaching and the destruction of habitat.

The Sungai Dusun Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Centre in Selangor state, where the animals died, had failed to achieve any rhino births in more than a decade.

27-11-2003, 09:54 AM
sad that people could have died in the recent NKVE landslide and the attitude of our people in power. sad sad indeed. Human lives must be lost before we learn our lessons.

27-11-2003, 11:45 AM
The saddest part is usually the culprits will get away scot free as they can buy all those people who will invent all sorts of excuses for them. I just hope that when they meet their maker, all the misdeeds will be tabulated and they will be condemmed to hell for eternity. I am not a religious person but what hope is there is heaven or earth , something will be done to the perpetrators of the crime against our society. Our politicians keep bleating the same old story to be recycled over and over again.

28-11-2003, 12:52 AM
i have to totally agree with you saml.

at the expense of being bashed again, i'm going to say it.

in western europe at least, there is quite a strong political system over there where the debates are substantial. rubbish ministers with stupid ideas and bad track records get booted out. voting is regular. even if something takes place in between voting, the guy goes out.

we don't have a competent, strong opposition that can work as a safeguard. the politician here is so desperate to get into power they come up with such shoddy things to talk about, their recent attempt to gain public sympathy for those arrested on suspicion of terrorism is one example.

when i was in england i always appreciated how everything the PM said was met with strict and severe scrutiny, whether it's by the opposition parties or by his own party member. they have a strong sense of values and pride in their work.

my favourite mayor in the world? ken livingstone of london. after i left for good i go back there only about twice-three times a year. but i find that the place is constantly improving. he does not make excuses for the rubbish that goes on, with the tube especially.

will we ever achieve that level of transparency? let's hope so. but i don't think it will happen too soon.


28-11-2003, 12:55 AM
someone said something about damansara perdana-kota damansara area losing it's green.

sadly it has happened with most developments around.

even here at sri hartamas, i really love the green. the drive back from kl is wonderful, i roll down the windows and there's all this fresh, lush trees, the sound of crickets chirping everywhere. the air is cool.

within a day, a whole area of trees was bulldozed over to make way for development.

no environmental commission in malaysia. (is there even?) guess there's no money for politicians to invest in trees.... not quite the green they want.


30-11-2003, 02:25 AM
1st world highway, 3rd world's falling rocks!

1st world KLIA., 3rd world's toilet door and broken sink, no water one.

Malaysia Boleh!

I am not sure now what we are "Boleh" of ?

30-11-2003, 08:06 AM
i think the problem is that we're a very goal driven culture, maintenance wise we're poor.

i've been shopping around for apartments lately. i've talked to a few home owners. most are very disappointed.... the properties they bought look nothing like the showrooms. quality wise, the flooring, the walls, the bathroom, fittings and finishing, everything is of poor quality and workmanship. but the apartment came up "Fast".

the klcc toilets are another example. when they first came up they were cleaned regularly, spick and span. there were auto flushes, it was a breath of fresh air compared to the other toilets in malaysia. look at it now!

i can write about twenty pages on things that have come up looking good but then failed to be maintained.


30-11-2003, 09:18 AM
You know why maintenance is carried out only as an after thought? If is because there is very little money to be made out of maintenance. If a maintenance contract involves tens of millions of ringgit per year, then perhaps there would be people interested, not so much in the maintenance but rather in the money and there would be some semblance of maintenance. I am pretty sure even now for a place like klcc, the amount paid for maintenance is not small but then by the time it reaches the people who are actually carrying out the job, they can only afford to employ people who are not trained or cannot fine anything better to do. That my friends, is the crux of the problem or issue whatever you may call it.

30-11-2003, 09:40 AM
actually saml, there is money to maintenance contracts. the contract will be awarded to the brother in law or brother or sister in law or some husband of some relative of the guy who is in charge.

then when he gets the contract, all looks good for the first few months.

then it goes downhill. who is going to complain? complain to who?


30-11-2003, 10:48 AM
We will look into it, all parties have been told to monitor it closely,we will get to the bottom of it, someone will be held responsible, i will get my officers to get to the bottom of it and if it still does not pacify the crowd, it is an act of god, meaning no one is to be blamed because too many higher ups are involved or have got their hands in the kitty.

left side hung
30-11-2003, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by empress_julz
i think the problem is that we're a very goal driven culture, maintenance wise we're poor. ///ej

i agree.

being goal driven however, isn't the problem - the problem i think lies with the goal itself. it seems to be part of our culture that we'd cut corners for a quick buck. whereas other cultures may have goals that lean towards quality instead.

30-11-2003, 03:34 PM
I agree that we have a very goal driven culture but the goal is not to get things done properly but rather to make a quick buck.

30-11-2003, 03:37 PM
LSH you are right.... one phrase you mentioned...cut corners.... is that a malaysian invention?

if it wasn't we've improved on the term tremendously.

another malaysian invention.... cin cai....

i noticed one thing abroad that you pointed out correctly LSH - they get the work done slowly, but they emphasise on quality. here it's just blind hammering down to get the building/whatever up ASAP. and even so they somehow manage to be late/take their own sweet time.

even in the office..... abroad people would work 9-5, solid, then go home to the family.

here they dilly dally the whole day, take five coffee breaks every 2 hours, go to toilet six times in 3 hours, chit chat to friends and on the phone, etc. etc., there is just no motivation to finish the work.

can't blame the employees, if the boss sees the worker done and off at 5 he piles on more work.

i noticed this just now.... a group of construction workers working at the apartment opposite mine in sri hartamas. luxury condominium coming up. ten of them were squashed into the back portion of a run down nissan vanette! the seats were taken off so they could all squeeze and squat in, and probably to transport loads of stuff too.

what kind of crap working conditions are those? are these people slaves?

no wonder they don't feel inspired to deliver good stuff.

even amongst professionals, i noticed that it is quite common in malaysia for bosses who are not pleased to shout across the room or the office to the offending employee. come on, they're adults, pull them into the room and talk to them about delivering better work. if you have to shout at your employees, you're a poor leader and you will never get the employee's true potential. you have to motivate and inspire.

we really need to improve on our work ethic!


30-11-2003, 10:41 PM
What we are BOLEH of these days?

Politikus's favourite catch phrases:

Boleh diatur.

Boleh dikira.

Boleh lah!

Boleh pakai.

Boleh buat.

Boleh lepas.

Boleh dibeli.

Boleh digadai.

Boleh diperlaku.

Boleh dihalalkan.

Boleh dibayar.

Boleh cari.

Macam-macam boleh!

01-12-2003, 09:03 AM
Hmm. It is similar to the Indonesia's Bisa di atur? Or the Military's AJS policy (Asal Jalan Sudah-lah?). I think the Malaysian military is starting to be more serious in maintenance but it took them almost 2 years to purchase a maintenance software and still not gotten around to it. Guess maybe they are not so serious after all? After all, it took over 1 year for them to decide who are the vendors to participate for their CODIMS project... and that is just warehousing and inventory. I remember reading about the fiasco of the Chinese army during the Ching dynasty. Ships were sent to battle without ammo...