While Malaysians are being distracted by the Anwar trial and by those trying to divide us on the basis of ethnicity and religion, big contracts are being dished out, including the last portion of the double-tracking project.
Initially in 2002 the whole North-South double-tracking was supposed to have been handled by China and India at around RM40bn with payment to made in the form of crude palm oil.
In Oct 2003, MMC-Gamuda bagged the job at RM14.3bn but that did not go down well with the foreign parties. Two months later, just after Abdullah Badawi had taken over, the project was shelved.
The project was revived in 2007 and this is the current state of play of the double-tracking contracts:
Padang Besar-Ipoh (329km):
MMC-Gamuda, awarded in 2007, RM12.5bn
Ipoh-Rawang (179km – completed):
Work done by DRB-Hicom (contract terminated after 88 per cent of work) and completed by UEM Construction (per Wikipedia)
Indian Railway Construction (Ircon), RM3.5bn
Gemas-Johor Baru (>200km plus transportation hub in JB, perhaps linking up to Singapore MRT):
Chinese government has reportedly nominated three firms to partner local companies
– China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC),
– China Railway Construction Corp (CRCC)
– understood to be a firm partnering Tan Kay Hock, who controls Johan Holdings Bhd and George Kent.
The government has appointed two consultants to conduct studies and to negotiate with the China consortiums.
Estimated cost: > RM7bn
Let’s wait and see which local company is selected to partner a firm from China.
I am just wondering why so many different companies are selected for a north-south railway line that isn’t all that long.
(The above information is extracted from a report that appeared in The Edge, 2-8 May 2011.)