What we do know so far are trial balloons released in the media such as the news that Gamuda-MMC JV have submitted a unsolicited proposal of RM43 BILLION for the project and apparently UEM has expressed great interest in the project as well but then who wouldn't. (Boleh kaya sampai anak cucu dan cicit kalau dapat projek ini beb). Anyway, readers can read the news from the MI here.
Well beside KJ who is making some noise about the transparency of the bid, good on him though I thought it a bit strange coming from him because as son in law of PM Abdullah Badawi and UMNO Youth Deputy Chief he was not making noise about all those cosy multimillion direct negotiation deals then, hmmm, times are a changing.
Anyway for such an undertaking the Government should do well to be EXEMPLARY and TRANSPARENT and invite International bids and proposals for Design, Construction, Operating and Financing of the "Greater" KL MRT project. For a bid said to cost more than USD10 BILLION, the Government can be sure that there will be many experienced and qualified Design and Built Contractors and Operators from all over the world such as Germany, Japan, USA, Switzerland even India who would come in to bid on their own or JV with local partners.
While the urgent need for efficient and cheap transport for the masses in Kuala Lumpur's congested transportation system is obvious, let us not be hasty and commit multi BILLIONS Ringgit of what ultimately will be a cost that the ordinary Malaysians, yes, our own children will be burdened with for the next decades.
The Government should apply the tried and tested international open tendering system, I think our Petronas has the same system too, so does many other multinationals and other countries such as India and even Bangladesh are starting to adopt it too, our Government tendering system is also quite good if allowed to be so.
First the Government should specify what they want, and the techies (JKR,SPAD) in Government will provide the General Specification to call for Pre-Qualification of Contractors. Pre-Qs if done rigorously will filter the half qualified and unqualified and rent seeking companies which will cause headaches later.
The Qualified companies will be announced and they will be invited to submit their Technical and Financial Bid.
These companies will then present their proposals and be subjected to intense grilling sessions by technical,environmental and financial experts appointed by the Government in a Tender Board. After that the Tender Board will make recommendation to the Cabinet for decision. The Cabinet can only make a decision based on the companies that has been recommended by the Board. The PAC should then ratify the decision before letter of award is given. If finally Gamuda-MMC JV or UEM wins the award through a competitive open tender then it would be acceptable and most welcome. Hey, this is humongous money we are talking about, not the small change 2 or 3 million dollars that our proud young millionaire Jho Low is blowing all over America and Europe you know.
There are much to do to show breakdown the cost of a light rail project such as the KL MRT:
- Traffic Management
- Pavement Removals
- Utility Relocation
- Land /Building Compensation
- Station Construction
- Street Lighting
- Trackbed (at road level, above street level, underground structures)
- Track work
- Traction Power
- Power Distribution
- Transformer Stations
- Signalling System
- Automated Vehicle Locator Systems (AVLS)
- Ticketing and Fare Collection Systems
- Light Rail Transit Vehicles
- Maintenance & Operations Facilities
- Maintenance Equipment
For those who like to know more about Light Rail projects refer here.
Times have changed, the people would not simply accept and gawk at the multi-Million or multi-Billion ringgit worth of projects bandied about by the Government Federal or State, they want to know how much really it will cost to construct, they do not like third party mega management and administration fees. They want greater transparency and of course best value for money, the cost of which we all have to pay long after this gigantic project has been built.