It remains to be seen whether PKR and its leaders are exposing the government's 'wrongdoings' for the sake of the people or to further ulterior political motives, says a blogger. (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: A blogger has suggested that the opposition’s criticism of the awarding of the Ampang LRT extension project to George Kent is really about defending the interests of the firm that lost the bid, not exposing injustice and flaws in the tender process.
In an Aug 7 post, anonymous blogger Jebat Must Die highlighted criticism of the tender by PKR’s Rafizi Ramli, who said Balfour Beatty should have been awarded the tender instead.
“He implies that there is something wrong with the tender process and accused the Prime Minister of intervening in the selection process,” JMD said. “His main contention was how could George Kent be given the contract and not Balfour although the latter apparently scored higher than the former in the tender evaluation process.
“He is astonished that contractors recommended by Syarikat Prasarana were not selected by the Ministry of Finance’s Tender Committee. Furthermore, Rafizi assumed that the selection of contractors can be done at the whims of MOF. This had riled him up and PKR as a political party is not happy with it, to the point of making this an election issue,” he said.
The blogger said that Rafizi’s astonishment is itself astonishing since an earlier round in the tender process resulted in rumours that Balfour Beatty would get the contract, in spite of the fact that a South Korean consortium had been recommended by Prasarana.
“An average observer can note that Rafizi had been silent about this issue a few months ago. Especially when his favourite contractor seemingly got the contract. But that changed a few months later,” JMD wrote.
JMD said Rafizi’s claim of George Kent’s score in the technical evaluation process being among the lowest was misleading and was insufficient reason for the company to be passed over.
“When their cash and funding position was finally evaluated by MOF, George Kent eventually scored higher financially and passed in that aspect. This fact was neglected by Rafizi and PKR and was not included in any of their press conferences,” he said.
“Therefore, it is unfair to say that George Kent do not deserve this project. In fact, when the project was awarded, George Kent made statements to rebut all the allegations that it is not worthy of such a project. In the end, the cost of the project given is even similar to what Balfour was rumoured to bid, at RM956 million,” he said.
The blogger said the real issue is not why George Kent got the tender, but rather why Rafizi has been so vocal about it.
“Now, what is it about Balfour Beatty which made them receive an utmost support by PKR? The answers could lie in Balfour’s main partner in this consortium – Ingress Corp Bhd,” the blogger said.
JMD pointed out that the chairman and CEO of Ingress, Datuk Rameli Musa, went to school with Anwar Ibrahim, is currently a trustee in a foundation helmed by Anwar and is reported to be close to him.
“Obviously with all these connections and the fact that the whole of PKR, with Rafizi as the spokesperson of Anwar Ibrahim, are busy defending Balfour and wrongly excoriating Najib just because another company was awarded the project, the coincidence of Ingress – Balfour – PKR cannot be denied,” the blogger said, adding that the LRT project “could have been key to fund Pakatan Rakyat’s war chest”.