KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — The government has yet to make a final decision on the Multi-Lane-Fast-Flow (MLFF) tolling system, Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said today amid speculations about the bids.

In line with the Anwar administration's stance against direct negotiations and promoting open tenders, the minister said the companies that signed the agreement to implement the tolling system in 2021 should be given space to present their proposals.

“The letter of agreement they signed in 2021 only gives them the opportunity to present their proposal. They needed to show proof of concept which needs a lot of work before coming to fruition.

“So don't sweat and don't make assumptions and hurl accusations because if you say the proof of concept is poor, then the deal won't go through. So the key here is we must let them present their proposal up till December 2024,” he told reporters after checking on the construction of additional shelter for motorcyclists at Km11 of the New Pantai Expressway towards Subang Jaya, Selangor.

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This comes as earlier this week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reiterated that government projects must be awarded through a transparent and open tender process, and must be executed following clear steps via a transparent process.

He had in December last year stressed that approvals for government procurements under his leadership can no longer be conducted without tender as he could not continue to allow leakages and corruption.

Nanta said today there have been news reports about the matter that were written as if the government had already sealed the deal on the MLFF, adding that companies that signed the 2021 concession deal have the “right to be upset”.

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He told reporters that discussions and negotiations should be allowed to continue.

Several news outlets had two days ago reported certain highway concessionaires claiming that the government had signed an appointment agreement linked to YTL Corporation Berhad on November 17 to award the RM3.46 billion project without consulting the concessionaires that would eventually foot the bill.

Nanta had issued a statement to clarify the situation earlier this morning, saying his ministry is in the process of re-examining the contract awarded in 2021 and the approval was only granted so the parties involved could start the negotiation process.