Malaysia

George Kent mum on Rafizi’s claims, says focussing on LRT work

August 03, 2012

The firm said it was now focussing on delivering the LRT project according to expected levels of transparency. — File pic The firm said it was now focussing on delivering the LRT project according to expected levels of transparency. — File pic KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 ― George Kent Bhd (GKM) said it was not privy to confidential government procedures in the award of the Ampang LRT extension systems job, adding it was bullish on delivering the RM956 million project on time and cost.

Earliier, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli accused the firm of deceiving the public by saying that it had fulfilled all the requirements needed for the controversial Ampang Line LRT extension project.

“GKM and Ir Dr Cheong Thiam Fook stand by the statement made yesterday that they are confident the 100 per cent-Malaysian George Kent-Lion Pacific Joint Venture (GKLP-JV) will deliver the Ampang Line Extension Project on cost and on time.

“GKM is not privy to confidential government processes and documents and as such, cannot comment on purported official documents,” the company said in a statement this evening.

The company more known for its water infrastructure projects said it “is now fully focused on delivering the project for the Malaysian public in accordance with the levels of governance and transparency expected of a public listed company”.

State-owned Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd on Tuesday announced that the George Kent-Lion Pacific joint venture had won the deal, weeks after it was already speculated by local media.

George Kent had yesterday in its first statement to the media denied the “baseless allegations that GKLP-JV failed the full technical and commercial evaluations”.

The denial drew swift rebuke from Rafizi.

“That statement clearly goes against the official evaluation report used by the government in determining the contractor for the additional works for the Ampang Line LRT system,” the PKR leader said in a statement today.

Rafizi referred to a document that he asserts is a summary of the bid evaluation sent by the Prasarana managing director Datuk Shahril Mohktar to the Ministry of Finance.

He said it was part of a January 20, 2012 letter that Shahril had sent with proposed bidders for the MoF’s approval.

He pointed out that the George Kent joint venture had only received “8.7 marks out of the total 30 marks for financial evaluation”, saying that Prasarana had listed it as failing its financial evaluation.

“With 38.62 marks out of 70 marks, George Kent is the third last in the technical evaluation,” Rafizi said, adding that project consultant Halcrow had in its full report stated that “it is not confident that the George Kent consortium can carry out the project.’

The document shows that financial and technical competency make up 30 marks and 70 marks respectively in the bidding evaluation.

It also appeared to indicate that the George Kent joint venture had not complied with contract requirements.

Rafizi insisted that these were “valid facts” as he was being investigated under the Official Secrets Act for disclosing the documents.

He then described George Kent’s denial about its compliance with the evaluation results as “insults” to the country’s procurement system.

The PKR strategy chief also said that “this raises the question of Prasarana’s ability to monitor and ensure that George Kent will fulfil all conditions and work schedule as agreed” in the contract.

Rafizi has repeatedly accused Datuk Seri Najib Razak of interfering in the tender bid and granting the multimillion contract to George Kent, which he claimed was controlled by a “close associate” of the prime minister and which also scored one of the lowest points in the technical and commercial evaluation for the project.

Earlier today, DAP’s Tony Pua had called for Prasarana and the federal government to declassify all documents related to the award of the contract, saying that this was in line with Putrajaya’s efficient unit Pemandu’s policy of transparency and openness. Rail projects have increasingly come under the spotlight due to the billions of ringgit that are involved, as the country embarks on a rail expansion drive that not only includes the extension of KL’s LRT system but also the new Klang Valley MRT, the southern rail double-tracking project and a possible high-speed rail line to Singapore.

The MRT project tender process was also recently hit by criticism after several multi-national vendors reportedly decided not to participate in the bid to supply rolling stock for the project, citing concerns over favouritism.