Cops should probe PM, not Rafizi over Ampang LRT, says Wan Azizah
KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — PKR today slammed the police for going after its strategy director Rafizi Ramli instead of probing the prime minister's "suspected" role in the alleged award of the RM960 million Ampang LRT extension project to the George Kent consortium.
Yesterday, Federal CID chief Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said a special task force has been set up to investigate how tender documents classified as official secrets were leaked.
"Why is a public infrastructure project’s contract to be paid with the people’s money placed as a national secret? Will the details compromise our national security?" said the party's president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (picture).
"It appears to me...that the high-level police investigation of Rafizi is intended to protect the prime minister and to intimidate and harass Rafizi," she said, adding that by going after the whistleblower, the "police seem disinterested in the disclosure itself."
She noted that neither George Kent or Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are being probed by the police or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Rafizi had previously alleged that the speculated tender winner, George Kent, had failed both the technical and commercial evaluations for the contract, and that Najib later interfered in the deal.
Dr Wan said the police should "restore their credibility" by stopping the probe under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and "instead investigate Najib’s suspect role in the Ampang LRT-extension contract".
Earlier today, Rafizi had said that he will not be scared off by police investigations into the leaking of the classified documents and pledged instead to make more revelations surrounding the contract’s award.
He said that the probe corroborates that revelations so far about the contract were true, adding that PKR would start a campaign next week to distribute leaflets about the scandal at LRT stations throughout the city.
PKR has also pledged to make the Ampang LRT extension contract a major campaign issue at the next general election.
The Malaysian Insider reported last week that the speculated winner of the Ampang LRT system works — the George Kent–Lion Pacific joint venture — had scored one of the lowest points in the technical and commercial evaluations for the project.
Rafizi distributed to the press last week pages from the “Technical Evaluation Report” conducted by renowned consultancy group Halcrow, which had found in September last year that George Kent could not successfully deliver the Ampang LRT extension project.
According to the report, George Kent, said to be a manufacturer of water meters, has “no current rail projects” and has “no previous related rail experience”.
The report also said that the largest project ever completed by the consortium was worth under RM40 million, which Rafizi said raises doubts over George Kent’s capability.
Najib had last week denied interfering in the tender award for the project, but PKR has pointed out that the prime minister had neither confirmed nor denied reports that George Kent had been given the contract.
Rafizi claimed to be in possession of documented proof, to be released soon, that Najib had recently, in a “private meeting” with top-level individuals, announced the tender award to George Kent.
This was despite an earlier decision by Putrajaya to award the multi-million ringgit rail project to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium, which Rafizi said was the best qualified for the job.
The rail builders led by the British engineering firm were the lowest bidders for the LRT open tender that closed on June 16 last year, offering to take on the project for RM950 million. The highest bid was for RM1.45 billion.
PKR had recently lodged a police report on the issue, citing Najib for criminal breach of trust (CBT) in his alleged interference in the project award, which has yet to be announced in public.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has also kicked off investigations at Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) over the RM960 million contract.
On June 29, The Malaysian Insider reported that only five of the eight bidders passed the technical and commercial evaluation stage but project owner SPNB finally recommended one of the two South Korean consortiums in the running — PDA Consortium — as the other consortiums were said to not have complied with all conditions.
PKR officials have shown copies of official documents to the press, showing that the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) Acquisition Committee, which met this January 25, had decided to award the contract to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium.
The committee is the highest decision-making body in the MoF and is chaired by Najib himself, who is also finance minister.