You’ve got to applaud the federal government for reviewing the MRT2 contract in seeking the best possible deal for the people.
You can see how billions of ringgit can be saved through this exercise, especially when the government enlisted the help of a competent independent firm to assist in the review.
In doing so, the government has had to contend with a slick public relations/corporate propaganda effort put up by the consortium. I thought Tony Pua did a good job in responding to it.
Over in Penang, civil society groups have been persistently calling for a review of the RM46bn transport infrastructure put forward by SRS Consortium, which is 60% owned by Gamuda. (This includes the environmentally damaging RM8bn Pan Island Link ‘monster’ highway and the expensive RM8bn elevated LRT that was chosen over much more cost-effective alternatives.)
The infrastructure rojak cost of RM46bn is much higher than the RM27bn that transport planning experts Halcrow had proposed in its masterplan (and that RM27bn includes RM6bn for the controversial RM6bn tunnel-and-three highways that the state government badly wants).
NGOs, residents associations and the public have campaigned strongly against the RM46bn mega transport project in Penang – but they too have to contend with a slick corporate propaganda effort, using print and social media, to rally support for the exorbitant plan.
Surely the federal government should heed the clamour in Penang for a review to be undertaken by an independent body of sustainable transport experts. What’s wrong with that? We simply can’t afford to squander money raised from selling public land in Penang just like that.
Why should Penang be exempt from the ongoing nationwide review of mega contracts?