Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Prasarana still owes over RM700 million, says LRT3 contractor in disputing chairman

The LRT3 turnkey contractor says yet to be paid for works done from July 2020 onwards.

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Prasarana’s project delivery partner MRCB-George Kent (MRCBGK) has disputed a claim that it was paid up to October 2020, saying RM723,888,000 in outstanding amount has yet to be paid.

The joint venture company which was appointed for the construction of the third phase of the Light Rail Transit (LRT3) said the payment it received in October covered works done up to June last year.

It also denied that it had sidelined Bumiputera contractors in the project, as claimed by Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman today.

“We have also exceeded the minimum 30% Bumiputera quota by having 39.7% Bumiputera contractors in the LRT3 project,” it said in a statement, hours after a press conference held by Tajuddin to explain allegations that he was meddling in Prasarana’s business deals.

Tajuddin also denied claims that Prasarana had refused to settle payments owed to MRCBGK, saying payments were made up to October 2020.

The LRT project involves 21 contractors and some 10,000 workers.

Earlier today, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided Prasarana’s office and seized several documents, launching an investigation into the finance ministry-owned company.

Tajuddin also accused Prasarana’s CEO, Muhammad Nizam Alias, of being behind allegations that he was meddling in the company’s business matters.

Nizam is currently suspended pending the completion of an internal probe for insubordination.

Tajuddin said he had called for an investigation into Prasarana’s agreements with MRCBGK as he wanted to ensure Bumiputera contractors were also given a fair deal.

“When it is not fair, how can I as the chairman of Prasarana keep quiet? I must look into it, I must enquire,” he had said.

But MRCBGK said the contractors were appointed through open tender by Prasarana in 2016.

“We have treated our WPC fairly by applying the contract rates as stipulated in the original contract with Prasarana Malaysia.”

Tajuddin today said that Prasarana had cash flow issues and had to prioritise the maintenance of its rail network, adding that it still paid what it owed to MRCBGK.

He said MRCBGK should also play its part by injecting capital to help the company.

But MRCBGK said it had done its part by advancing over RM200 million for the LRT3 project.

“Both MRCB and George Kent have given a corporate guarantee to Prasarana Malaysia and issued a paid-up capital of RM5 million each,” it added.

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