PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli claimed the prime minister had inadvertently confirmed his years-old fears that the entire Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project could cost up to RM100 billion.
"Since last night, Umno online propaganda groups have launched a social media campaign to show that the true cost of the MRT project was only RM21 billion and not RM100 billion as I had previously mentioned.
"They attacked me on social media (on this issue).
"What they do not realise is that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's announcement that the cost to complete Phase 1 of the MRT for the first stretch from Sungai Buloh to Kajang (12 stations spanning 21 kilometres only) was RM21 billion.
"Actually, (this) confirms my worries in 2012 that the total cost for the entire MRT project could reach RM100 billion," Rafizi said in a statement today.
He pointed out that when Najib had launched the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) in 2010 and announced the MRT project, he had said the entire project would cover a distance of 141km.
The RM21 billion cost mentioned by Najib is only for 21km out of the planned 141km MRT line, he said, which means it is only 15 percent of the total cost for the entire MRT project.
Employing simple calculations, he said, if the cost for each kilometre of the rest of the MRT line remained roughly the same as it was for the first phase, it would be RM1 billion per kilometre.
If that is so, the remaining 120km of the MRT line would cost about RM120 billion, Rafizi said.
"Clearly, the Umno online propaganda groups consisting of Papagomo, Raja Petra (Kamaruddin) and Lim Sian See do not understand the details of the MRT project," he said.
Rafizi said he would show in his upcoming statements how the entire MRT project which covered a distance of 141km spanning three stretches would "definitely" cost more than RM100 billion.
Najib had reportedly said on Thursday that the MRT project cost RM21 billion compared to the targeted cost of RM23 billion in the initial stage.
He first announced the MRT project in 2011, stating in his Budget speech for that year the total cost for it would be around RM40 billion.
The first phase of the MRT, between Sungai Buloh and Semantan, was launched by Najib on Thursday.
The second phase, which covers a distance of 30km involving 19 stations between Semantan and Kajang, is expected to begin operating fully on July 31, 2017.- Mkini