Thanks to PayLess Books, Lulu owns almost the entire collection of Jeffrey Archer books. Almost cos still pending the newer released which would probably take 1-2 years before it hits the 2nd hand circuit.
There is this short story, I can't recall the title cos the book is at home, about how 2 men, the best-est of friends, the sort who grew up together and became each other's children's godfather had a spat in their golf club, and exchanged verbal insults and blows in full view of the members. I can't remember what the damage was but the less successful friend sued his kononnya ex-best friend. Cerita-cerita-cerita, he won the law suit. Later, the two men were seen together in the club having drinks, best-est of friends once again, as if nothing had happened.
Turns out that they ganged up to create this lawsuit, and the successful friend had insurance coverage against lawsuits, and together, they successfully milked the insurance company of the money.
Or something like that....
Which brings us to Lulu's short story for the day.
A major billboard operator has threatened the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) with a lawsuit for the breach of contract of a deal worth RM379mil in total and is demanding unspecified damages.
The Star Metro, today
The background of it, as reported by the Star
Seni Jaya Sdn Bhd was revealed to have made a proposal to privatise billboard operations in Petaling Jaya but the documents, which were leaked out by unknown persons, drew public condemnation (The Star, June 8, 2006).Metro's news leaves Lulu very disturbed.
MBPJ had then declared that there were no plans to privatise billboard operations in PJ (The Star, June 30, 2006).
To understand how much is at stake, how much it may have cost SeniJaya to own the billboards rights and how much they could have earned,
According to a memorandum opposing the privatisation of billboards submitted by the All PJ Pro Action Committee (APPAC) to MBPJ, the consortium offered a total sum of RM492,000 for a 15-year concession period to cover billboard advertising in the city.source : Citizen Nades 06/28/2006
For a standard billboard, the council charges an annual licensing fee of RM480 and an annual service charge of RM2,400.
For the larger unipole billboards, the council charges an annual licensing fee of RM11,200 and RM7,200 for services.
Advertisers are quoted RM30,000 on average to advertise on the standard billboards and RM580,000 for unipoles along the LDP Highway.
If Lulu is reading this correctly, the rental of just one unipole would have covered the cost of of the entire 15 year monoploly.
Lulu is greatly concerned as there is no checks and accountability that MBPJ would put up her best defense in this lawsuit. Like the two gentleman who were in cahoots, who's to say that certain individuals in MBPJ may still want to see their "friends" not lose from this lucrative, non-benefitting the PJ ratepayer's deal? Who's going to scrutinice if they do an out of court settlement? Who's taking care of OUR money, cos Lulu definetly does not think that MBPJ will.
sorry, i've been busy. won't be getting any better the next 2-3 months. sigh..
updates Wed, Apr18
for more updates on the issue, read
Citizen Nades' When things fall apart discussed the Sports Club involvement in accepting contributions for the billboards
There is another article which appeared on Tuesday's Sun, but I can't find the link. "PJ Ratepayers Fight Back".
Along the same lines, from theStar, PJ residents want billboard company to provide them with info
APPAC pro tem chairman Edward Lee said APPAC would instead register its interest by way of seeking a watching brief by its panel of lawyers acting on behalf of ratepayers should the matter go to court.
I'm glad there are concerned citizen's keeping watch on this, but, I still think MBPJ is going to get off on this, together with their friends at SeniJaya. I guess it doesn't hurt to hope differently.
If you want to read the history of these billboards, MBPJ and the SportsClub, go the TheSun, and do a search on "billboard".