PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional (BN) today took to task Rafizi Ramli for trying to “deceive Malaysians”, saying the PKR leader was not being truthful on the costs of MRT projects around the world just to make the government look bad.
Referring to yesterday’s press conference where Rafizi had said similar projects in South Korea and Spain had cost up to 2.5 times less than the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (MRT-SBK) project, BN’s Strategic Communications Team said he had picked up the numbers from a dubious source and not official project data in the two countries.
“He had alleged that the Barcelona Sants-La Sagrera MRT project cost US$39 million per km, while the Seoul Line 9 MRT project cost US$43 million per km in comparison to MRT-SBK costing US$103 million per km.
“It appears that Rafizi had taken his information from an anonymous Word Press blog called ‘Pedestrian Observations’, on a page entitled ‘Comparative Subway Construction Costs, Revised’,” the BN team said in a statement released today.
Saying that the blog had also given information on many other countries where the cost of MRT projects were much higher than that of MRT-SBK, the BN team criticised Rafizi for cherry-picking the “two lowest cost per km entries” to make his “case” against the Malaysian project.
“Even the anonymous blog had warned its readers not to rely on its data ‘as large errors crop up’.
“Unfortunately, Rafizi ignored this warning and had used this info in an official press conference in yet another failed attempt to accuse the government,” the statement said, providing what it called were more authoritative sources for the Seoul Line 9 MRT project that showed the actual cost was between US$105 million to US$152 million per km.
Making a further case against Rafizi’s false representation, the BN team suggested that the Pandan MP should look even closer to home when comparing MRT project costs.
“The Singapore government had reported that their Downtown line cost S$20.7 billion for 42km or US$340 million per km, which is even much higher than Rafizi’s claim of US$100 million for our MRT-SBK project.”
Turning the tables on the PKR man, the government team said that the cost of the LRT project from Komtar, George Town, to the Penang Airport, was reported to cost RM257.14 million per km, or about US$64 million per km.
“So, if Rafizi still believes that the higher capacity underground Seoul MRT project cost US$43 million per km, he should question the Penang DAP-led government on why their smaller capacity above ground LRT project cost 50% more at US$64 million per km.”
Advising the PKR lawmaker to “stop making unfounded and erroneous accusations to avoid further embarrassment,” the BN team said it is why Rafizi is no longer taken seriously by anyone.- FMT