Wednesday 1 August 2012

'George Kent award dents confidence in open tenders'

The award of the Ampang Line LRT extension project to the George Kent-Lion Pacific joint venture erodes public confidence in future government open tenders, the DAP says. 

According to DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, this is because previous exposes have showed that the George Kent consortium had failed competency tests. 

NONE“The decision and announcement make a complete mockery of the Ampang Line LRT ‘open tender’ which does not play by the book.

“(It) will severely dent the confidence of Malaysians in the multi-billion ringgit projects to be similarly awarded via ‘open tender’, such as the RM53 billion MRT and RM8.7 billion Langat 2 water treatment plant,” Pua said in a statement.

The award to George Kent-Lion Pacific JV was announced late yesterday, weeks after PKR director of strategy revealed that the engineering consultant commissioned, Halcrow, had scored them poorly in the technical assessment.

Producing excerpts of Halcrow's report, Rafizi also revealed that the Finance Ministry's acquisition committee had over-ruled the recommendation to drop the George Kent consortium from the tender process. 

Halcrow had favoured British firm Balfour Beaty-Invensys Consortium, which bid RM1.01 billion for the job, lower than the bid made by the George Kent consortium.

'Close ties with PM Najib'

Pua said the award to the George Kent JV was also “completely beyond belief in the sheer abuse of power by the prime minster himself” who is also finance minister. 

George Kent chairperson Tan Kay Hock reportedly shares close ties with PM Najib Abdul Razak as “golf buddies”. 

Pua said it was also questionable how George Kent, a company that specialises in piping and  bulk water storage can qualify for such a huge construction project. 

Further, he said, George Kent only posted RM19.3 million in profit on the back of RM152 million revenue for the year ended Jan 31, 2012. 

killthebill lrt new year wish yellow protest 311211 in train“What justification can be given by Najib that a company with only RM152 million in revenue could be awarded a RM1.18 billion ringgit contract, despite having been technically disqualified from the project?” 

He added that this was not the first time the Finance Ministry had chosen to award a huge project to a bidder who did put in the lowest bid. 

In June 2011, the ministry reportedly ordered Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd to award the project to Hartasuma Sdn Bhd-Bomboardier for the Kelana Jaya LRT extension line. 

This is despite the fact that at RM890 million, the Hartasuma-Bombardier JV's bid was 50 percent higher than the lowest bid from the Prasarana-recommended Ingress Corp-Balfour Beaty Rail joint venture.  

The decision was subsequently reversed and the project awarded to Colas-CMC Engineering Sdn Bhd joint venture. for RM670 million.

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