KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — The government has given an assurance that the Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) underground contract will continue, but it will be awarded through an open tender at a reduced cost.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government was committed to lowering the costs of the project through a re-tendering exercise.
He said hence, a claim that the re-tendering exercise would cause 20,000 job losses did not arise.
“We are not cancelling it, but we want to get a better price. We’ve got a better price with RM5.2 billion savings for the above ground portion (of MRT2).
“And as for the underground project, the government believes it can get higher savings through an open tender,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the “Malaysia: A New Dawn Investors’ Conference” here today.
MMC-Gamuda, in a statement, said move taken by the Finance Ministry would trigger 20,000 job losses, of which over 3,000 were MMC-Gamuda joint-venture staff, of whom more than 60 per cent were Bumiputera.
The cabinet has terminated the underground work contract of the MRT2 with MMC Gamuda KVMRT Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Gamuda and MMC, and decided to re-tender all the unfinished underground work of the project.
Lim said the workers would not be out of jobs as they would be re-employed upon the continuation of the project.
“It can also be from Gamuda or other companies,” he said.
Lim recently said that the MRT2 project was expected to save RM5.22 billion or 23 per cent of the original cost for the above ground portion of the project, following the open tender exercise
However, both the government and MMC-Gamuda failed to reach an agreement relating to the underground portion of the construction project, he said, adding that as a result, the cabinet decided to terminate the underground contract.
In its response, Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd said that the underground work for the MRT2 project was already 39 per cent completed, and as such its termination and re-tendering process would be “relatively complex”. — Bernama