Of late, Gamuda-MMC has been mentioned in connection with the RM36b MRT project for Klang Valley – the biggest mega project so far. But why has an MRT proposal been put forward when the national public transport policy is not yet ready?
The thing is, 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.
So why did Gamuda-MMC put forward a proposal earlier in the year, before the public transport masterplan was ready? Many people are under the impression that the proposal is a done deal. Meanwhile, the technical study for the MRT is nearing completion, according to The Edge, whereas work on the LRT extension has hardly begun, four years after it was first announced: “Common sense dictates that we should undertake such big ticket projects one at a time,” the weekly business paper observed.
No decision on the Gamuda-MMC proposal has been made so far, insists Spad CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal during an interview with a radio station. He says the proposal is misunderstood: it’s not for the whole RM36 billion construction as a single package. The proposal is “to manage the award for the different packages of the project. Then they will share the risks, the gains and the pains, whether the project is on time or under cost or cost overruns. That in itself is quite, quite different from the way people are thinking – it is not a design and build proposal.”
He maintains that the project has not yet been awarded; neither has the government given a commitment to any entity.
But the radio interviewer raises an important point: “The issue here is there’s only one main contractor being negotiated with and that in of itself is open to leakages.” What is being done to prevent such ‘leakages’? We can’t just leave it to external agencies such as the Public Accounts Committee or the MACC. Moreover, he adds, contractors should be pre-qualified and the cheapest proposal selected.
This interviewer does a brilliant job in raising “concerns over corruption and leakages, the need for open tenders, principles of good economic governance, protocols governing the award of tenders — and whether SPAD and Malaysia adhere to these principles”. If only we had more chat show hosts like him.
Listen to the whole interview over BFM’s Breakfast Grille (MP3 format):