The Klang Valley Double Tracking 2 project was first awarded in 2018 at RM5.26 billion by then transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Wee Ka Siong’s predecessor as MCA president.
The Transport Ministry said its decision to reopen the tender for the Klang Valley Double Track Project (KVDT 2) was taken after obtaining input from various parties, including experts, professionals and companies related to the rail construction project.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ir Wee Ka Siong said the decision also did not solely depend on the Professional Project Review (PPR) provided by the consulting company Opus Consultants (Opus).
“I was puzzled when Anthony Loke (former Transport Minister) mentioned that Opus Consultants was not appointed by the Transport Ministry to carry out the PPR. In my media statement yesterday, where did I mention that the ministry appointed Opus?
“I only said Opus Consultants was assigned to do the PPR study. I also know that Opus did it ‘pro bono’ or voluntarily. If the Opus report is not formal, why was a presentation made to the former Transport Minister and the ministry’s secretary-general?
“Isn’t that a waste of time? Do not look for excuses when this report was submitted to the ministry. I cannot deliberately assume this PPR does not exist because the findings of the study is that the cost of KVDT2 offered to Dhaya Maju – LTAT Sdn Bhd (DM-LTAT) is too high,” he said in a statement posted on his official Facebook account today.
The Klang Valley Double Tracking 2 project was first awarded in 2018 at RM5.26 billion by then transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Wee’s predecessor as MCA president.
When Pakatan Harapan took power after the election later that year, Loke, who took over the transport cabinet post, oversaw the renegotiation of the contract down to RM4.475 billion.
Yesterday, Wee said RM4.475 was still overpriced and the contract will be tendered.
Today, Loke said in a Facebook post that Wee was effectively saying the past MCA president had awarded an overpriced contract.
Yesterday, Wee announced that the Cabinet has decided to cancel the contract directly awarded to the joint venture between Dhaya Maju – LTAT Sdn Bhd (DM-LTAT).
The KVDT2 re-entered public attention after it was listed as among the 101 projects Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz told Parliament Pakatan Harapan had awarded without tender during its time in government.
However, it was among those in the list that PH leaders have pointed out as either completed under BN in 2018 ahead of the general election in May that year or awarded by the BN administration but paid for during PH’s time.
Loke said during his term as minister between May 2018 to February 2020, PH tried to bring down KVDT2’s cost and had hired third-party experts to look into it.
Loke had proposed to the cabinet to cancel the project and give it out through open tender as this process could reduce the price to between RM3 and 3.5 billion.
However, the cabinet on July 5, 2019, decided to continue with the project but slashed the price by 15% mainly because to cancel it would have legal implications and possibly result in the government having to compensate the contractor, Loke said.
Critics have accused Zafrul of being selective and for also including contracts that were initiated under the BN-era into the list.
Others have accused Harapan of reneging a purported promise to do away with direct award contracts.