Stop the witch-hunting and get on with running the country

Nagarajah P.

I am a regular businessman eking out a decent living running a small utility works company. I wish to bring to the attention of the brand-new government that my rice-bowl is drying up. It has been 3 months since I last received payment from my client and they say they hadn’t received the payment from the government. Payments over numerous construction jobs are still pending and I am just one of the many other contractors affected. We have no choice but to “wait and watch” while our businesses continue to suffer. If the Government thought that it’ll be “business as usual” while they dilly dally with their witch hunting, policy restructuring and what not, they are very wrong.

I have been in the utility works business for the last 20 years. Because I’ve established my business and client base, I hardly hesitate to undertake additional works without advance payment. Yesterday I had to turn down a request by my client to lay pipe cables simply because I didn’t have the means. My suppliers who are aware and wary of the issues of struggling contractors are also downsizing their stocks and refuse to supply materials in credit. Things have not looked this bad since the 1997 financial crisis!

Up to early this year, things looked good on our order books. We’ve just been engaged for an upcoming big job and were still busy for the last 2 years with multiple projects going at full swing. Everything was overturned with the new Government onboard. Of course, I voted for a fair and righteous Government, yet this same Government somehow thought us expendable in their efforts to “make things right”. I can’t even sustain my 8-person ground staff anymore and I believe there are hundreds of small/medium scale contractors suffering the same predicament.

I’ve learnt bitterly that politicians will remain politicians, digressing from the issue of day-to-day survival of honest breadwinners like us with their grandeur speeches and fancy plans. I say, leave the issues of whistle-blowing or incrimination to the police or appointed investigators, get on with releasing payment to contractors for completed jobs. That is only fair!