KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong’s insistence that RM4.4 billion cost for the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase Two (KVDT2) was too much effectively criticised the previous MCA transport minister who approved the project at a higher cost, said Anthony Loke.
Responding to Wee — the transport minister now — who announced the project would be re-tendered after it was shown to be the lion’s share of projects directly awarded under Pakatan Harapan, Loke pointed out that Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai who was the minister when Barisan Nasional awarded the project for RM5.3 billion.
“The question Wee should ask is why his colleague, Liow who is a former MCA president and ex-minister, did not seek independent valuation before approving the contract to Dhaya Maju LTAT for RM5.26 billion one day before Parliament was dissolved in 2018?
“The conclusion is that the MCA transport minister has cancelled approval for the KVDT2 previously approved by the former MCA president because the MCA transport minister agrees the original cost approved by the former MCA transport minister was too high!” Loke said.
Loke also disputed Wee’s remarks saying that one Opus Consultants had valued the KVDT2 under the PH administration at RM3.5 billion and this was withheld from the Cabinet then, saying the firm was not appointed by the Transport Ministry.
Loke, who is Wee’s immediate predecessor at the ministry, said this report was also incomplete and it was based only on publicly available information at the time. The Transport Ministry consequently did not consider the presented material as binding.
He said the estimates were nevertheless conveyed to the Cabinet then, which was why the project was cancelled initially to allow for fresh tenders. Loke added that he has already explained the rationale for proceeding with the contract at the lower price of RM4.4 billion.
Yesterday, Wee announced that the Cabinet has decided to cancel the contract directly awarded to the joint venture between private company Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd (DMIA) and the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT).
The KVDT2 re-entered public attention after it was listed as among the 101 projects Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz told Parliament Pakatan Harapan had awarded without tender during its time in government.
However, it was among those in the list that PH leaders have pointed out as either completed under BN in 2018 ahead of the general election in May that year or awarded by the BN administration but paid for during PH’s time.