Malaysia

Umno lawyer confirms highway award, says not a ‘deal’ for Perak

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — A prominent Umno lawyer confirmed today that a company controlled by him, and in which the wife of former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi is director, was awarded a lucrative RM2.2 billion contract to build the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex).

But Datuk Hafarizam Harun told The Malaysian Insider that any suggestion of a deal struck because of his role in the Perak constitutional crisis in 2009 was “tainted with mala fide (bad faith) and intended to bring me and Tun Zaki into public odium, scandal and disrepute.”

Hafarizam, who is the ruling Malay party’s legal adviser, denied that the highway concession award was given as a reward to him and former chief justice, Zaki, allegedly for their roles in the 2009 Perak crisis that saw the state government switch from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to Barisan Nasional (BN), which is held together by Umno.

Zaki declined to comment when contacted for this article.

“The contract was awarded to us after the company proved itself with its track records,” Hafarizam said in a text message to The Malaysian Insider.

Emrail Sdn Bhd and Zabima Engineering Sdn Bhd have been awarded the lucrative RM2.2 billion contract to build the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), Hafarizam confirmed today.

“Yes I am a Director of both Zabima/Emrail,” he told The Malaysian Insider in a text reply this morning.

“Both Cos [companies] are separate in their core business ie Rail-track specialist and Class A contractor. D word ‘deal’ is misleading, tainted with mala fide and intended to bring me and Tun Zaki into public odium, scandal and disrepute,” he replied when asked to clarify an allegation by controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted online yesterday.

The editor of the Malaysia Today website claimed in an article published yesterday under the title “Episode 9: The reward for giving Perak back to Umno” that Harafizam and Zaki, who retired on September 9 last year, were awarded the highway contract, via Emrail that will be a tolled road.

“Incidentally, did you notice one very crucial matter in this whole thing? Yes, you got it, the current Umno Legal Advisor represented Umno in the Perak Constitutional Crisis while the previous Umno Legal Advisor (the Chief Justice) made the decision of ‘ordering his number two to sit on the bench in his place’. And guess who won the case? Talk about ‘all in the family’!

“Now, who are the other directors of Emrail?,” Raja Petra, popularly called RPK, wrote, adding “One is Toh Puan Nik Sazlina Mohd Zain, Tun Zaki Azmi’s wife. Yes, the same man we are talking about above, the recently retired Chief Justice. And the other is Tan Sri Dato’ Hari Narayanan Govindasamy, Samy Vellu’s proxy.”

Nik Sazlina is a director in Emrail, the same company that Hafarizam had admitted to sitting on its board as director.

Emrail’s website stated that the company is “steered by an able team of professionals led by captains of industry, chairman Datuk Hafarizam Bin Harun and deputy chairman Tan Sri Datuk Hari Narayanan a/l Govindasamy. As major shareholders of Emrail, they are at the helm in all projects from concept to finish.”

It listed “Toh Puan Nik Sazlina Mohd Zain” as a company director.

The new highway will link Kinrara and Pusat Bandar Damansara and will divert traffic on the LDP.

“I’m keeping my options open but I don’t think it’s RPK that’s the one who is attacking.

“There are ‘unseen hands’ maybe out of jealousy, greed and dissatisfaction because we are amongst the few Bumi-Controlled private Cos (sic) that got the project.

“As far as I’m concerned, I will soldier on to kick-start the project and complete well before time,” Hafarizam said in his text message to The Malaysian Insider.

The Edge Financial Daily reported on February 17 that the government had called a tender for the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex).

The announcement mentioned that seven companies are bidding for the job, which includes Bina Puri, Mudajaya, and Pesona Metro Sdn Bhd.

“The tenders are just out and it is not certain yet on the tenure of the concession as the CA has not been finalised,” said a source.

 

According to The Edge, the concession was supposed to be awarded to PLUS Expressways but Pesona Metro Sdn Bhd has been tipped as a frontrunner for the project.

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