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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Wee did not drive Cabinet to terminate KVDT2 contract, says govt

 

Transport minister Wee Ka Siong announced last August that his ministry would reopen the tender for the KVDT2 rehabilitation project.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has contended that transport minister Wee Ka Siong did not drive the Cabinet into terminating the Klang Valley Double Tracking (KVDT2) project.

In response to contractor Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd’s lawsuit, the government said Wee could not be seen as abusing his position and acting unfairly in the termination of the contract.

“He was exercising his duty as transport minister in conducting a due diligence exercise on the KVDT2 project before presenting it to the Cabinet for a collective decision.

“Besides that, we would like to affirm that we have our rights under the terms of the Letter of Acceptance to terminate the KVDT2 contract,” it said.

The decision was later announced by Wee on his Facebook and where he said this project would be renegotiated through an open tender.

The government also denied the company’s allegation against Wee that he delayed signing a formal contract with them on purpose.

Dhaya Maju LTAT also claimed Wee had asked them to sub-contract KVDT2 to a “China company” in April last year.

“The inference made by Dhaya Maju against the minister for acting in bad faith is baseless,” the government added.

Dhaya Maju LTAT has filed a suit against the government and Wee over claims that their termination letter for the KVDT2 contract was not duly sent to them, as required under the terms.

The company also said the government had no basis to terminate the contract on grounds of “public interest”.

Besides the government and Wee, the company named consultancy firm Opus Consultants and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) in the suit.

Dhaya Maju LTAT also said Wee had an “ulterior and improper” intention to terminate their contract.

The contents were disclosed by former transport minister Loke Siew Fook in the Dewan Rakyat, where he demanded Wee to come clean on the allegations.

Wee had said he had “nothing to be afraid of” and challenged Loke to repeat the contents outside the Dewan Rakyat.

The government said that the company had filed another suit against them in another High Court in September 2020.

“If this court grants an injunction against Dhaya Maju LTAT, it amounts to giving the company another chance to ‘take a second bite at the cherry’,” it said in response to Dhaya Maju’s injunction application to bar the government from terminating KVDT2’s contract.

The court had previously denied the company a temporary injunction in the other lawsuit on grounds that “the government and its officials cannot be restrained from performing their public duties”.

In this second lawsuit, High Court judge Lim Chong Fong granted a temporary injunction barring KTMB from the Dhaya Maju LTAT project site. The court said the company need not give up possession of the worksite, from Port Klang to Jalan Kastam.

However, it allowed the government and KTMB limited access to the active tracks to carry out maintenance and repair work. The order has now being extended to March 3.

However, the injunction order does not involve the government or Wee.

KVDT2 was one of the 101 projects, costing RM6.61 billion, claimed by the Perikatan Nasional government in Parliament recently as being awarded through direct negotiations during the Pakatan Harapan government’s watch. - FMT

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