Let’s take a closer look at SRS Consortium:
This is a joint venture that was appointed as project delivery partner (PDP) for the massive Penang
Land Reclamation and Property Development err, Transport Masterplan on 14 August 2015.
The consortium comprises:
- Gamuda Bhd (60%)
- Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd (20%), a medium-size developer led by Alex Ooi with projects mostly in Penang.
- Loy Phoy Yen Holdings Sdn Bhd (20%), believed to be related to another developer, the Boon Siew Group.
SRS Consortium was picked from six bidders.
(Press reports had long before tipped Gamuda as favourite. Times have changed. Soon after coming to power in 2008, the Pakatan state government had a prickly relationship with Gamuda over MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd’s then ongoing project, the railway double-tracking, and even issued stop work orders, reportedly for an alleged failure to submit layout plans and for allegedly causing floods in Jawi.)
SRS is supposed to be the project manager, consultant, and guarantor for delivery of project on time and within budget. Apparently, it is also supposed to oversee the tender process. For this, the consortium stands to earn 6% as its PDP fees, which could come up to a couple of billion ringgit. This will probably be on top of other PDP expenses, which may add up to quite a large sum.
Some questions arise:
- What experience and track record in major transport infrastructure do the two property development firms bring to the consortium?
- Will Gamuda and these two property development firms be satisfied with just the PDP fees? Will they also bid for transport infrastructure, land reclamation and property development contracts? If so, how will the tender process be overseen and how effective and independent will the tender oversight be?
- Who is paying for the detailed EIA of the land reclamation? If SRS is responsible for handling this, including paying the EIA consultants, how independent can such a study be?
- Will the EIA be carried out before or after the signing of the PDP agreement? What if the EIA and other impact studies show an averse impact on the communities along the coast? What happens to the masterplan then? Will we hear the same old
threattune about compensation having to be paid if the project does not go ahead?
- Who will own and run the LRT, etc once it is up and running? What if it incurs losses? Who will absorb any operational losses after the developers, infrastructure contractors and PDP consortium earn their hefty fees and profits?