MOVE ASIDE JACK MA, NAJIB HAS THE REAL ‘ALIBABA’ DEAL: RM2 COMPANY GETS RM55BIL ECRL PROJECT
KUALA LUMPUR — The local firm handling the multi-billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) has a paid-up capital of RM2, PKR MP Rafizi Ramli claimed today, citing the firm’s submissions.
The Pandan MP said his checks with Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) also showed that the firm was only established in September 2015.
“When a contract is signed with a RM2 company that’s just newly established, it cast doubts such as whether the process followed the correct government procedures,” he told reporters at the lobby of the Parliament with a copy of the company’s SSM details.
On November 2, Malaysia and China reportedly agreed to the Framework Financing Agreement and Engineering, Procurement, Construction Contract for the US$13.10 billion (RM55 billion) rail link between the east and west coasts of the Malaysian peninsula.
The agreement was signed by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), and witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang.
Today, Rafizi insisted that a project of such magnitude required the formation of a special purpose vehicle as well as parliamentary oversight.
He pointed out that the prime minister had sought parliamentary approval for RM10 million for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail, and said this should also be the case for the ERCL.
The PKR secretary-general also raised a discrepancy between the project’s reported cost of RM55 billion and a report on the CCCC website that described the contract as being worth RM46 billion.
However, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told reporters separately today that the RM55 billion-figure was not final and may be revised either up or down depending on future negotiations.
The 620km ECRL, once completed, is expected to make travel to the east coast of Malaysia more accessible while aiming to increase incomes of industries along the rail route.
The project that will connect Port Klang to Gombak; Gombak to Dungun; and Dungun to Tumpat, is expected to start construction early 2017.