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aws账号(\u2018Open letter\u2019 on MRT2 project riled Dr Mahathir, says Tony Pua



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AS highlighted in Part I of my statement yesterday, MalaysiaNow reported that former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad made public his “grouses” in his upcoming book with references clearly targeted against me, even though I was not specifically named.

His additional remarks to the press yesterday in response to my statement,  however, confirmed that I was the intended target. I have clarified yesterday that I have never threatened the developer referred to by Dr Mahathir, Djoko Tjandra, because I have never met or spoken to him.

All discussions and negotiations sanctioned by the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng, were led by top Ministry officials and I was never present on those occasions.

I am disappointed that Dr Mahathir continues to believe the words of a crooked Indonesian businessman, who is now behind bars in Indonesia for fraud and corruption, instead of trusting his own members of Parliament. Based on the excerpt from his book published by MalaysiaNow, Dr Mahathir also claimed that “there were also occasions when this adviser spoke publicly on behalf of the government despite having no standing to do so”. In this case, Dr Mahathir would be referring a specific statement, or “open letter”  which I had issued on October 10, 2018 to the “Directors of MMC-Gamuda” with regards to the MRT2 project. I remember clearly that Dr Mahathir was absolutely livid after the letter was published, summoning Lim to admonish him for my action.

It was a letter that lived long in Mahathir’s memory. Even late in 2019, more than a year after the letter was published and the matters involved were long resolved, Dr Mahathir was still griping about it in his conversations with Lim. The story It was well known in the industry even prior to 2018 that MMC-Gamuda had the inside track with the Najib Razak adminstration to be awarded the Project Delivery Partner of the extremely lucrative MRT projects via direct negotiation.

The ministerial reply to me in Parliament then specifically confirmed that MMC-Gamuda was awarded the project because it was the first to propose it. Given the size and scale of the MRT2 project which will indebt the Government by at least RM50 billion (inclusive of land acquisition costs and interest payments), Lim directed the Ministry to carry out a study to determine if the cost of the project was a fair price and whether any significant savings could still be achieved, given that the project at that stage was already 40% completed. One of the largest engineering consulting firm in the region was appointed to carry out the review.

The study concluded that there were very significant savings to be achieved via a re-negotiation, restructuring or a re-tender without sacrificing the functionality, viability and operations of the project.

In fact, the study discovered that comparative figures with regional MRT or equivalent projects which purportedly showed that the Malaysia’s MRT1 and MRT2 projects were among the lowest price presented by the consulting engineers of the project were concocted. To be absolutely certain, the Ministry of Finance even secured written confirmations by other large-scale contractors that they were prepared to bid at a lower price in the event of a re-tender for the balance of the project. Extensive negotiations took place with the top management of MMC-Gamuda.


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