"At the end of last year the cost was RM3.6 billion to RM3.9 billion, now it has clearly exceeded this at RM4 billion.
"Even the deputy minister (of transport Abdul Rahim Bakri) did not appear confident that it will be completed on time at the estimated cost," Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua (left) told a press conference at the Parliament lobby this morning.
Pua was commenting on Abdul Rahim's reply to his question in the house earlier on whether KLIA2 will be completed on time.
Abdul Rahim, in his response, said the latest estimated cost of KLIA2 now stood at RM4 billion from the initial estimated of RM1.7billion when the project commenced in 2009.
"For now, based on the commitment given by the contractors - this information is given to me by the MAHB (Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad), so if they give me this I must accept as it is because I'm representing the government - they said they can complete it according to schedule," Abdul Rahim said.
He added that the project was ahead of time at 61.9 percent completion compared to the 56.9 percent required in the schedule.
'Delayed, but ahead of time'
At this, Pua took the deputy minister to task for misleading statements.
"Ahead of schedule is confusing, this project was supposed to be completed in 2011, then it became 2012 and now April 2013," he said.
Acknowledging this, Abdul Rahim (right) clarified that he meant "ahead of schedule" in terms of the revised time frame for KLIA2's completion for April 2013.
Abdul Rahim explained the drastic increase in cost was due to various upgrades to KLIA2 to meet future demands of the airline industry.
"These upgrades are for the comfort of passengers and to allow the low cost carrier industry to grow. When we do such infrastructure, it is not for the needs of today but for future needs," he said.
He added that despite the ballooning cost, it was not being paid by the government.
"This does not involve government money, MAHB is getting its own sukuk bond where they have to pay according to their revenue," he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement today, Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw (left) urged the government to adopt transparency for its 138 Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) projects worth RM203.1 billion, including KLIA2.
"We have to strive for transparency such as open tender. We want these projects to be implemented according to their true values. From RM203.1 billion, how many tens of billions can be saved?" he said.