Local News

Loke turns table on Wee over ‘pricey’ Klang Valley rail project

PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong is faulting his own MCA colleague, Liow Tiong Lai, for what he claims is an overpriced railway double tracking project, says the man in the saddle between the duo, Loke Siew Fook, of the PH government.

Liow was transport minister in the previous BN administration.

Loke said all he did as transport minister was help bring down the cost of the Klang Valley Double Tracking (Phase 2) or KVDT 2 project as cancelling it would have incurred more costs in compensation and related costs.

The project spans 110km, involving two KTM railway tracks – one from Salak South to Seremban and the other from a point between Kuala Lumpur Sentral and Angkasapuri to Port Klang.

Wee yesterday claimed that ministry-assigned consultant Opus’ findings that the project’s actual cost was RM3.398 billion was never made available to the Cabinet during Loke’s time.

Loke has disputed this, saying he had informed the Cabinet on Sept 19, 2018 that the estimated cost of the project could be lowered to around RM3 billion to RM3.5 billion if the project was re-tendered.

The ministry had then recommended that the contract with Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd be cancelled and the project re-tendered.

“The Cabinet meeting on that day decided to cancel the contract with Dhaya Maju. Wee can get confirmation on these facts through the meeting minutes on 18 September 2018,” Loke said in a Facebook post.

He also clarified that Opus Consultants were not appointed by the ministry but had voluntarily presented its report on the project to the ministry, adding that it was not a complete and formal report and was only based on publicly-known information.

Loke said the Cabinet on July 5, 2019 decided to continue with the project at a 15% lower cost taking into account legal implications and compensation that would ensue from cancelling the contract.

Demanding that Wee apologise for his “baseless accusations”, Loke said the current MCA president should instead query Liow, his predecessor as party president, on why he did not get a third party evaluation before approving the contract with Dhaya Maju.

“The summary is that the current MCA transport minister has cancelled the KVDT 2 project approved by the former MCA transport minister because the latter agrees that the original cost approved by the former is too high.”

Wee yesterday announced that the ministry will be reopening the project for tender after it found that the project costs a lot less than what was previously agreed upon.

He said the PH government had previously agreed for Dhaya Maju to continue the project with the cost reduced by 15% to RM4.475 billion from RM5.265 billion.–FMT

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