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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Former transport minister Anthony Loke has clarified the Klang Valley Double Track Project, listed by the Finance Ministry as one of the biggest projects awarded through direct negotiations under Pakatan Harapan (PH), was inked under Barisan Nasional (BN) one day before Parliament was dissolved in 2018.
The Seremban MP said the project awarded to Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd by the BN government was initially worth around RM5.26 billion, up to 15 per cent more than the reported value of RM4,475,250,000, and was signed on April 4, 2018.
Loke asserted that the PH government had in September 2018 decided to cancel the contract, with the Transport Ministry (MOT) serving the cancellation notice to Dhaya Maju LTAT.
He said the company then pleaded with the government several times, including directly to the prime minister, appeals that eventually resulted in renegotiations.
“Then, a series of negotiations were held to reduce the cost of the project.
“In the end, the company agreed to reduce the cost of the project by 15 per cent from its original cost.
“Then I, representing the Transport Ministry presented the matter to the Cabinet on July 5, 2019 through the Cabinet Ministers’ Memorandum and proposed several options to the Cabinet,” he said in a Facebook post this morning.
Loke explained that the Cabinet then agreed to go ahead with the project with Dhaya Maju LTAT at the reduced cost with certain considerations put in place.
Among them included the issuance of a Letter of Consent to the company, which exposed the government to civil lawsuits if it decided not to go through with the project, while ensuring the 15 per cent reduction in costs, around RM800 million, does not compromise the quality of critical components used in the project.
Loke also detailed how Dhaya Maju LTAT was a joint venture between Dhaya Maju Infrastructure Asia Sdn Bhd, and the Armed Forces Fund Board.
“This means the military retirees would have an interest in this project,” he said.
Loke added the company has begun the double-tracking upgrading work with money already invested in equipment and supplies.
“I leave it up to the people to draw their own conclusions,” he added.
Other projects involving the MOT that were included in the list released by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz yesterday included the awarding of the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2019 project worth RM2.33 million to EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd.
The rest went to the research package for aviation accidents to Plane Sciences Inc and printer ink and toner to Citi Tech.
This came after Tengku Zafrul had in his winding-up speech on the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)) Bill 2020 on Monday made the claim that 101 projects had been awarded by the PH government through direct negotiations, triggering calls for the list to be released.
The minister released the list of projects yesterday, with the Defence, Home Affairs, and Communications and Multimedia Ministries trailing MOT in terms of project value awarded through direct negotiations.