MRT Corp CEO: 40pc of RTS construction portion earmarked for Bumiputera contractors

MRT Corp CEO Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim speaks during the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed Bukit Chagar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Johor Baru November 22, 2020. — Picture courtesy of MRT Corp
MRT Corp CEO Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim speaks during the ground-breaking ceremony for the proposed Bukit Chagar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Johor Baru November 22, 2020. — Picture courtesy of MRT Corp

JOHOR BARU, Nov 22 — About 40 per cent of the RM2 billion infrastructure construction portion of the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project will be allocated to Bumiputera contractors, says Malaysia Rapid Transit System Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp).

Its chief executive officer, Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim said the jobs would be awarded to Bumiputera contractors grade 1 to 6, of which details of work packages would be announced further by the state government next week.

He said out of the RM3.7 billion of the Malaysian portion for the RTS project cost, RM2 billion is meant for construction.

“So, 40 per cent of the construction jobs (for Bumiputera) is worth RM800 million,” he told a press conference after the virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Bukit Chagar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, here today.

The virtual ceremony was graced by the Johor Sultan, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and State Secretary Datuk Azmi Rohani.

The construction works include a station in Bukit Chagar, a depot in Wadi Hana, viaducts through the city centre of Johor Baru and over the Straits of Johor to the Malaysian-Singapore boundary, and the Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complex in Bukit Chagar.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the the proposed Bukit Chagar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex is performed in Johor Baru November 22, 2020. — Picture courtesy of MRT Corp
The ground-breaking ceremony for the the proposed Bukit Chagar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex is performed in Johor Baru November 22, 2020. — Picture courtesy of MRT Corp

This facility will be part of a transit-oriented development where there will also be a multimodal transport hub and a mixed property development.

“The multimodal transportation hub will have many many floors. I can’t remember how many (but) it will be a skycraper. So, out of the many floors, RTS will take up four floors for the purpose of ICQ.

“We are going to award these (packages) stage by stage and for now, we are only awarding the advanced works for the ICQ building, as well as reference and design for ICQ building.

“We are going to award the remaining packages much later. For ICQ project, for subcontractors small contractors that will start coming in starting end of this year.” he added.

Out of the RM2 billion, he said only RM86 million had been awarded for advanced works for the ICQ area.

In his speech earlier, Mohd Zarif said the RTS development would be the catalyst for Johor Baru development, which will result in spillover effects, including job creation.

He said Sultan Ibrahim has also mooted the idea of organising a competition for the best facade design for the RTS station, featuring Johor uniqueness and bringing back the nostalgia of train journey and its history in the state.

On July 30, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong met at the midpoint of the Johor Causeway as symbolic gesture to resume the RTS Link project, after three postponements.

The idea of the project, which was conceived in 2010 and announced in 2011, would involve a four-kilometre shuttle system connecting Bukit Chagar in the state capital Johor Baru and Woodlands in Singapore.

The RTS serves as a convenient and cost-effective shuttle system integrated with both public transport systems on both sides of the border, as well as helps reduce congestion on the Johor Causeway. — Bernama

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