Gamuda-MMC has received an early ‘durian runtuh’ with the government reportedly granting preliminary approval for the consortium to manage a RM36 billion mass rapid transit (MRT) project for the Klang Valley.
See a report by Reuters here.
Because of the large amount of public money at stake, the government must tell us exactly how the tender process for the consortium’s reportedly ‘unsolicited proposal’ was carried out. Is it true that there was only one contractor with whom the government negotiated? That in itself is disturbing.
The actual project is expected to cost RM36 billion. Add land acquisition and rolling stock cost and the tab reportedly could come up to a jaw-dropping RM43 billion. (What about possible cost overruns?) That makes it the largest construction job under the Tenth Malaysia Plan.
Examine carefully the major shareholders of Gamuda Bhd as at 15 October 2009:
- Employees Provident Fund Board 10.09% (direct interest)
- Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena binti Raja Azlan Shah 7.43% (mostly deemed indirect interest through Generasi Setia)
- Generasi Setia (M) Sdn Bhd 7.42% (direct interest)
- Platinum Investment Management Limited 6.48% (direct interest)
- HSBC Holdings plc 5.37% (indirect interest) (who is behind this?)
The substantial shareholders of MMC Corp (which is the flagship company of Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary) as at 25 February 2010 are:
- Amanahraya Trustees Berhad (Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera) 18.43% (direct)
- Employees Provident Fund Board 8.11% (direct)
- Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn Bhd 51.76% (direct)
- Indra Cita Sdn Bhd 51.76% (indirect – deemed interest through Seaport Terminal)
- Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Syed Mokhtar Shah bin Syed Nor 51.76% (indirect – deemed interest through Indra City)
“He (Syed Mokthar) surfaced during the premiership of (Mahathir) and created waves, stayed through (Badawi’s) term, albeit with less fanfare, and now he appears to be an important corporate figure in Najib’s tenure,” an Edge report recently quoted an unnamed Umno politician as saying.
Syed Mokthar’s Tradewinds recently gained control of Bernas, which has a monopoly of rice distribution in the country, the weekly noted.
In 2007, Gamuda and MMC were awarded the northern portion of the rail double-tracking job for RM12.5 billion.
In April, DRB-Hicom, whose controlling shareholder is Syed Mokthar, reportedly received a letter of intent from the government to manufacture and deliver a dozen variants of the Malaysian AV-8 armoured wheeled vehicle.
And lately, Syed Mokthar’s name has been mentioned in a report about the privatisation of Penang Port Sdn Bhd.
The other disturbing thing is, why has preliminary approval for the MRT been given when the national public transport policy is not yet ready?
The Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) has just been formed. And one of its first tasks is to come up with an integrated national public transport policy, followed by regional public transport policies. Spad is now working on the national policy in parallel with the regional policy for the Greater KL/Klang Valley area.
But before that can see the light of day, we now hear that that Gamuda-MMC has received preliminary approval for the MRT. What’s going on?