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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Rafidah: MACC should probe claim Prasarana withheld payments for LRT3 firms

MACC should investigate complaints made surrounding alleged attempts to appoint new subcontractors for the ongoing LRT3 project, said former minister Rafidah Aziz.

Responding to a Malaysiakini report on stalled payments by LRT3 project owner Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to turnkey contractor MRCB-George Kent, Rafidah said the allegations, including against company chairperson Tajuddin Abdul Rahman must be investigated as the issue involves public funds.

"There is a complaint regarding the withholding of due payments. Also, reference was made to the appointment of new subcontractors.

"These appear to be aberrations, and even deviations from the transparency of such appointments," she told Malaysiakini.

"It (the allegations) is now public knowledge. It needs to be looked into as it involves public funds.

"The most appropriate entity to investigate would be the MACC," said Rafidah, who is the AirAsia X chairperson.

Earlier today, Malaysiakini quoted sources familiar with the matter who said Tajuddin has been turning the screws as he wants a say in MRCB-George Kent's appointments of subcontractors for the LRT3 project.

The Umno leader was appointed as the Prasarana chairperson in May and sources said the last payment of RM280 million made to MRCB-George Kent on Oct 3 was only for work done up to June.

At the time of writing, Tajuddin has yet to respond to Malaysiakini's requests for comment.

Prasarana had also declined to comment on Malaysiakini's report today.

Mounting financial constraints had led the companies to ask for the government's help to secure Prasarana's outstanding payments to MRCB-George Kent, which is expected to hit RM1 billion.

Earlier this month, The Malaysian Reserve reported that Prasarana had demanded more say in the appointment of subcontractors, but the request was rejected by MRCB-George Kent, resulting in the withheld payments.

Prasarana had previously declined to comment on a report by The Edge which questioned the leadership and direction of the company since Tajuddin's appointment as chairperson. - Mkini

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