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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Everything okay about LRT project bid, says Najib

There was nothing abnormal in the award of the RM1 billion Ampang Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension project to a purported higher bidder, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. 

“Everything was done properly, there is no such thing as improper,” said Najib curtly when asked about the allegations that he had a hand in the awarding of the project tender.

NONEPKR’s strategy director Rafizi Ramli (left) had accused the prime minister of interfering in the award process, so that a consortium led by George Kent Bhd, which allegedly made a higher bid than others, is to get the job.

In a press conference on Thursday, Rafizi claimed that he had “solid” evidence that the project was first awarded to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium (Balfour).

However, the Business Times had reported on Jan 22 that George Kent is tipped to win the bid, said Rafizi, in coming to the conclusion that it is being executed on Najib’s orders.

PKR had released a purported copy of the Finance Ministry’s Procurement Committee (JPMK) minutes of a meeting dated Jan 25 to support his claim.

The minutes were signed by Najib, who is also finance minister, Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah and the ministry’s secretary-general Wan Abd Aziz Wan Abdullah.

NONEAccording to the documents, JPMK had rejected a proposal from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana), the government-linked company overseeing the LRT extension projects, to award the RM1,012,910,000 contract to PDA Consortium.

Instead, the committee chose Balfour to be the contractor and supplier, and the decision was conveyed to Prasarana in a letter dated Jan 26 written by Fauziah Yaacob, an officer with JPMK, claimed Rafizi, who also furnished a copy of the letter.

The same night, Rafizi was visited by officials from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to ascertain the authenticity of the documents in his possession.

Yesterday morning, Rafizi had lodged a police report over the claims of power abuse, citing loss of confidence in the MACC.

Hours later, news leaked out that graftbusters had paid a visit to Prasarana, and the company’s media affairs manager Azhar Ghazali told Malaysiakini it was just a “fact-finding mission”.

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