Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s non-executive chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has claimed that the company has paid RM3.47 billion to MRCB-George Kent Sdn Bhd (MRCBGK) up to Oct 2, 2020.
The chairman’s claim came a few days after news reports indicated that 17 contractors and consulting firms for the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project jointly wrote a letter to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport to seek help for payment of more than RM700 million withheld by Prasarana for work done.
According to the jointly signed letter, the 17 firms said Prasarana had not paid them since July. As of October, the contractors were owed RM700 million, and after taking into account work done in December, this amount would exceed RM1 billion, they said.
Speaking at a press conference, Tajuddin said Prasarana did not withhold any payment to MRCBGK, adding that the agency has paid RM3.47 billion in claims up to Oct 2, 2020.
He said sub-contractors in the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project who have not been paid should complain to the main contractor, MRCB-George Kent (MRCBGK).
The joint-venture firm, which engaged the sub-contractors is responsible for paying them, and not Prasarana, he stressed.
He also said some of the sub-contractors have yet to sign contracts with MRCBGK, even though work has commenced and in some cases been completed.
“I have received a lot of complaints work has been completed, but contracts have not been signed. Some of these are Bumiputera contractors. As chairman, I cannot allow this to happen.”
He denied recent reports and a letter signed by 17 subcontractors and consulting firms to the Finance and Transport Ministries that Prasarana had been delaying payment of more than RM700 million for work done.
“We are making payments to MRCBGK for the works that have been done, and they (MRCBGK) should be to the one to make the payments to their sub-contractors, not us.
“However, we are continuously monitoring. As the project owner, we would want to see the project to be successful,” he said.
To date, Tajuddin said, the group still had about RM2 billion in cash, which would be used to sustain its monthly operation requiring around RM300 million per month.
Meanwhile, MRCBGK has claimed that Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s payments on October 2, 2020, were for construction works done ending June 2020.
In a statement, MRCBGK said Prasarana’s delayed payments of more than RM700 million were from July 2020 to October 2020.
MRCBGK is a joint-venture company between Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) and George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd, which was appointed on Sept 4, 2015, as the project delivery partner of the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3).
MRCBGK said the delayed payment has been certified by Prasarana’s appointed independent consultant, KL Prima Consult Sdn Bhd.
As of October 2020, the certified payment amounted to RM723.89 million, while the November 2020 payment was still pending certification.
MRCBGK said it has advanced more than RM200 million to sustain the LRT3 project. Both MRCB and George Kent have given a corporate guarantee to Prasarana and issued a paid-up capital of RM5 million each,” it said.
MRCBGK also pointed out it had also exceeded the minimum 30 percent Bumiputra quota by having 39.7 percent Bumiputra contractors in the Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project. The breakdown of contractors is 52 percent local, 40 percent Bumiputra and 8.0 percent foreign.
“The LRT3 project’s overall line-wide progress was 45.8 percent as of Dec 31, 2020. The project hires 21 main contractors and consultants, as well as 10,000 employees.
“We will continue to work with Prasarana Malaysia in a professional way to resolve all matters to ensure smooth delivery of the project,” it added.