Are stop work orders an effective deterrent or do they amount to little more than a slap on the wrist, the cost of which may have already been factored in by developers?
Undeniably there are some situations where stop work orders may be helpful. And they are better than nothing at all. But how effective are they as a deterrent or penalty? After all, the cost incurred by a developer/main contractor who has received a stop work order may be minuscule compared to the gross development value/construction cost of the project. Maybe just a short holiday plus some interest costs.
Extract from a press statement by Guan Eng:
Number Of Stop Work Orders Prove PR Penang State Government More Stringent And Unforgiving To Developers Than BN.
Facts have disproved BN’s claims that the Penang PR state government is the darling of developers at the expense of the public, especially those who need public housing. This can be shown by the number of stop work orders issued by both Penang Municipal Council(MPPP) and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council(MPSP) over the four years before and after 2008.
Under PR, MPPP issued 259 stop work orders from 2008 till 2012, which is nearly 7 times more than the 38 stop work orders issued for the same period between 2004-7 under BN. MPSP issued 11 stop work orders from March 2008 until 2012 May whereas not a single stop work order was issued from 2003 till March 2008.
If given a choice, some developers would prefer the BN government which rarely issued stop work orders, especially in MPSP where not a single stop work order was issued. The huge increase in the number of stop work orders issued proves that the PR Penang state government is more stringent in upholding the rule of law, demanding strict compliance with technical requirements and more unforgiving than BN.
However I would like to stress that the PR state government is business-friendly. Penang welcomes all investors and businessmen provided they comply and obey the rules. There is no culture of corruption in Penang, open competitive tenders are practiced and technical know-how is preferred over technical know-who. There is no point in trying to claim a close relationship with the EXCO or even the Chief Minister as rules are more important than any ”friendship” with state leaders….