Ministry approval letter proves George Kent got Ampang LRT deal, says Rafizi
UPDATED @ 06:28:39 PM 10-07-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Showing copies of a Ministry of Finance (MoF) approval letter dated last June 25, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli repeated his claim today that Putrajaya has decided to hand the lucrative Ampang LRT extension project to the George Kent consortium and demanded Datuk Seri Najib Razak come clean over its award.
The PKR strategy chief had repeatedly accused the prime minister of interfering in the tender bid and granting the multimillion contract to George Kent, which had scored one of the lowest points in the technical and commercial evaluation for the project, but had not shown proof until today.
The classified letter stated: “Please be informed that the Acquisition Committee Bil. 5/2012 that had met on 21 June 2012 have agreed to appoint Bidder 3/8 — George Kent-Lion Pacific JV for Systematic Works Tender for ‘The Engineering, procurement, Construction, Testing And Commissioning Of System Works for the Ampang (AMG) Line Extension Project’ with a cost of RM1,180,037,624.00 for a period to be completed within 44 months.”
The letter, which bore the national coat-of-arms, bore the signature of Datuk Fauziah Yaacob from the government’s acquisition division, on behalf of the Treasury secretary-general, and was addressed to Datuk Shahril Mokhtar, the director of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB).
“What was Datuk Seri Najib’s real consideration that he would risk the lives of hundreds of thousands by picking a company of a close associate, whose only experience is producing water meters, to build an LRT system for the country?
“Why was the price awarded to his close associate’s company more expensive by RM167 million compared to other qualified bidders who offered lower prices?” Rafizi asked.
This was despite an earlier decision by Putrajaya to award the multi-million ringgit rail project to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium, which Rafizi said were 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 officials have shown copies of official documents to the press, showing that the MoF’s Acquisition Committee, which met this January 25, had decided to award the contract to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium, which bid RM1.01 billion for the job.
The committee is the highest decision-making body in the MoF and is chaired by Najib himself, who is also finance minister.
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 publicly.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has also kicked off investigations at Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) over the RM960 million contract.
The Malaysian Insider reported on June 29 that the speculated winner of the Ampang LRT system works, George Kent, was one of three bidders that failed both the technical and commercial evaluations for the RM960 million contract.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider 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.
Putrajaya has yet to make public the winning bid.
The PKR man has pledged to make the Ampang LRT extension contract a major campaign issue at the next general elections.