KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 -- Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has questioned the action by Pakatan Harapan (PH) to engage in direct negotiations for the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase Two (KVDT2) project, despite touting they despised of such practices, reports Mingguan Malaysia.

In an interview with the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia, Wee claimed that direct negotiations for the KVDT2 project had even seen a drastic rise in cost — despite a reduction of cost to RM4.47 billion cost from RM5.3 billion during Barisan Nasional’s time.

Wee claimed that his predecessor, Anthony Loke had stated that the project would cost between RM3 billion to RM3.5 billion if the project tender were to reopen. However, Wee pointed out that Loke had later approved the project at a cost of RM4.47 billion through direct negotiations.

“Anthony Loke and five other DAP leaders in the Cabinet at that time did not object. It is proven that DAP can’t walk the talk,’’ he said.

Loke said last month that the RM5.3 billion price had been determined under the tenure of Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is also from MCA.

Last month, Wee announced that Cabinet has agreed to reopen the tender for the RM4.47 billion Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase Two (KVDT2) project that recently came under the spotlight for its award via direct negotiations to Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd (DM-LTAT).

DM-LTAT is a joint venture between private company Dhaya Maju Infrastructure (Asia) Sdn Bhd and the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT).

The Barisan Nasional administration had awarded DMIA the RM1.41 billion first phase of the KVDT project (KVDT1), and subsequently DM-LTAT for KVDT2 in 2018 just before the general election.

Former transport minister Anthony Loke had said that the PH government had in September 2018 decided to cancel the contract, with the Transport Ministry serving the cancellation notice to DM-LTAT.

Loke said the company then pleaded with the government several times, including directly to the prime minister, appeals that eventually resulted in renegotiations.

Wee, who is MCA president, had also lambasted PH, claiming the pact had exploited the 688-kilometre East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) for political gain.

Wee claimed that PH was willing to scrap the project despite it being 15 per cent completed just so it could realign the routes to pass through Negri Sembilan.

“The change in the ECRL alignment is only because of politics. The news of the route realignment arose during the Rantau state seat by-election.

“Many are questioning, why it was announced during the Rantau by-election campaign,” he said.

Wee added that his ministry is examining all matters related to ECRL in detail before making further decisions on the project alignment.