How to fix the Infrastructure problem - Tips from the Malaysian Prime Minister

Maybe the USA and other developed nations could learn a thing or two about infrastructure management from Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He spoke last year at a the National Asset and Facility Management Convention packed with about 1,200 attendees, ministers, chiefs of staff and other functionaries. The conference had been organized by the Public Works Department and Advanced Maintenance Precision Management. The prime Minister railed against the current state of maintenance of the nations assets, discussing how the nation takes poor care of what it has taken so much trouble to build. He hoped the two-day convention would come up with concrete, practical and realistic ideas which could be implemented by the government in the management and maintenance of public property. Signaling a change to the way that Asset Management and maintenance contracts are awarded within the public sector. After admonishing people to treat public assets as they would their own homes, he went on to criticize current vandalism laws and those in the public sector who were responsible for maintaining public buildings and assets , saying that they should be made accountable. "They should be disciplined if anything goes wrong." In the wake of the collapse of the Metronet consortium, managing assets for the London Underground, under the weight of their own mismanagement, the disgraceful collapse of the Mississippi river bridge in Minnesota, and the rupture of a steam pipe in downtown Manhattan; this sort of thinking must be inviting to governments in the a West. Imagine a public culture where people were held accountable and disciplined for errors leading to the failure of public assets... what a unique and innovative concept!