Tuesday, July 10, 2012

George Kent ‘got Ampang LRT contract’

Syed Jaymal Zahiid

 | July 10, 2012
PKR produced an official letter showing the government had awarded the Ampang LRT project to the losing bidder.
PETALING JAYA: PKR produced today an official document showing Putrajaya had awarded the Ampang LRT line extension project to the losing bidder George Kent Consortium despite denial of any foul play in the contract award process.
Party strategic director Rafizi Ramli showed an official letter dated June 25, stating clearly that the RM1.2 billion contract had been awarded to the consortium on June 21.
This was just eight days before Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would “not deny nor confirm” if the contract was given to the engineering consortium while dismissing any discrepancy in the process.
The letter was signed by the Treasury’s Procurement Committee (JPMK) under secretary Fauziah Yaacob and was addressed to LRT developer Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd’s (SPNB) group managing director Shahril Mokhtar.
The classified letter stated: “Please be informed that the Acquisition Committee Bil. 5/2012 that had met on June 21, 2012 has agreed to appoint Bidder 3/8 — George Kent-Lion Pacific JV for Systematic Works Tender for ‘The Engineering, procurement, Construction, Testing And Commissioning Of System Works for the Ampang (AMG) Line Extension Project’ with a cost of RM1,180,037,624.00 for a period to be completed within 44 months.”
“The JPMK’s decision confirms allegations by PKR that [Prime Minister] Najib Tun Razak had meddled with the evaluation process and the award of tenders [for the project],” Rafizi told reporters here.
RM167 million inflation
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is the highest authority in the committee which, in another official document leaked by Rafizi, showed he had himself penned the approval of the contract to a different consortium in January this year.
The classified document showed the committee had awarded the contract to Belfour Beatty-Invesys Consortium while rejecting Prasarana’s proposal that South Korean’s PDA Consortium be given the job.
The amount stated above is RM167 million more than the fees offered by the consortium that was initially awarded the project, said Rafizi.
He pointed out that the three different decisions indicated a “tussle” in the decision-making process which raises more questions on the deal.
“What was Najib’s real consideration? Why would he risk the lives of hundreds of thousands by picking a company of a close associate, whose only experience is producing water meters, to build an LRT system for the country?
“Why was the price awarded to his close associate’s company more expensive – by RM167 million – than the other qualified bidders who offered lower prices?” the PKR leader asked.
It is understood that five of the eight bidders passed the technical and commercial evaluation stage, but project owner SPNB had recommended one of the two South Korean consortiums in the running as others were said to have not complied with all conditions.
‘Golf buddies’
George Kent, whose top bosses Rafizi claimed are “golf buddies” of Najib, was among the three that failed the evaluation process.
“These questions will linger and continue to plague Najib’s image as long as it goes on unanswered.
“Even so, I believe Najib will continue to remain silent because he has done so when confronted with scandals in his administration,” he said.
Rafizi has lodged a police report against Najib but the police had instead decided to investigate him in relation to leaked confidential documents through a special task force.
His party colleagues criticised the investigation as political prosecution, but Rafizi said the probe proved the documents leaked are official and vowed to reveal more information on the scandal.
This includes details on Najib’s relation with George Kent, which he said is “nothing new” and is known throughout the corporate community.

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