TTF: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made a bold claim that some unnamed parties offered to build the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) for as low as RM10 billion, a stark contrast to the RM55 billion price tag set by the previous administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Now, before we go any further, I’d like to remind Malaysians that this is the “Greatest Malaysian Liar” we’re talking about, a fact I proved beyond any measure of doubt on the 13th of August 2018, and again, on the 18th of August 2018 (follow links below to find out how).
Anyway, Mahathir is now saying that there are contractors who can build the ECRL for RM10 billion.
Well, if indeed there are such contractors, I can’t begin to say how impressed I am and hope that they’ll consider building a double story mansion for me at the heart of Petaling Jaya for as low as RM50,000.
Notwithstanding, I’d like to pose them and the Government of Malaysia (GoM) some challenges in the spirit of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT), in hopes that the challenges, if accepted, will give Mahathir an opportunity to prove that he’s telling us the truth.
The challenges are as follows (in red):
1. Publish in all major dailies the original parameters and requirements of the ECRL project as agreed upon by the relevant companies and/or authorities though legitimate contracts and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).
2. Work out the exact cost of the project as contained in these contracts/MoUs and detail the exact scope of work agreed upon by all parties concerned.
3. Open an invitation for the so-called “10-billion-ringgit” contractors to splash their detailed offers in all major dailies in the spirit of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT).
4. Get both the original and the “10-billion-ringgit” contractors to make public RoC documents certifying shareholdings and the financial strengths of their companies.
5. Let the public go through these documents and decide if indeed the original scope and parameters of the ECRL project were deliberately manipulated by the Najib administration to blow up costs.
The last I checked, Mahathir sent Daim to China to renegotiate the project at a revised cost of RM70 billion, RM15 billion upstream of the RM55 billion agreed upon by the Najib administration.
On the 25th of June 2018, I wrote (in red):
Here’s the thing – Right after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election (GE14), Dr Mahathir Mohamad insisted that the national debt was RM1 trillion despite the actual figure being less than RM700 billion. He went on to add that the Debt-to-GDP ratio, which was then 50.8%, had breached the 80% mark and was almost bankrupting the country. His statements and those of Lim Guan Eng frightened a large number of local and foreign investors off.
The minute these investors fled, our share prices spiralled downward and afforded Mahathir’s cronies the luxury of picking them up at dirt cheap prices. One of these cronies was none other than Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the guy behind Berjaya Corporation and the local gambling scene. A report published by both The Third Force and Malaysia Today yesterday revealed that the gambling tycoon snapped up 22.2 million of Syarikat T7 Global’s shares between the 15th of May to the 18th of May 2018. Then, all of a sudden, we were told that the ECRL project, which was previously announced as scrapped, was for some reason or other, on.
In a bolt from the blue, the government increased the cost required by Syarikat T7 Global to run the project from RM55 billion to RM70 billion. What this means, is that Vincent’s entry ballooned the cost up by a whopping RM15 billion for absolutely no rhyme or reason. Question is, will that RM15 billion now end in Vincent coffers before wending it’s way into PPBM’s war chest?
Under the circumstances, it is essential that Mahathir proves me wrong this time around to redeem whatever’s left of his self worth and dignity following my previous success in proving him to be “The Greatest Malaysian Liar.”
What say you Mahathir? Dare take up the challenge?
PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said other parties have offered to build the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) for as low as RM10 billion, a stark contrast to the current RM55 billion price tag.
Malaysia and China have been negotiating the current amount, reported The Malaysian Insight(TMI), who quoted the prime minister as saying that Putrajaya will definitely consider the cheaper alternatives.
“Some even said they can do the ECRL for RM10 billion instead of RM55 billion. Some are Chinese companies, some are local companies.
“We have to talk with them if there is a possibility of reducing the cost from RM55 billion to RM10 billion. We would be stupid not to accept.
“But we have to study whether in fact you can reduce the cost that much,” Dr Mahathir said to TMI.
“Paying RM55 billion for something that the highest estimate is only RM30 billion would not be good for our financial health.”
Referring to his talks with China on the matter, he told the news portal that he had explained that the government had no money, and could not afford the project.
“We either have to cancel the (ECRL) project or to defer it or to reduce the cost, that is what we want to do.
“The details of all these things must be done at the official level.
“For me, I had only said it in principle, we have no money and we have to cancel or defer, or reduce cost.”
Dr Mahathir has also said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had entered into lopsided contracts with China.
“Unlike all other contracts, instead of paying based on work done, they paid according to a timetable.
“And we have found that the work done was only 13% but we already paid 39%. What do we get from the extra money that had been spent? This has got to be negotiated.”
Najib replied on Thursday, by asking for Dr Mahathir to make public all agreements on the project, and to set up a royal commission of inquiry into the project.
Dr Mahathir did not see a reason to comply with Najib’s requests.
Speaking to TMI, Dr Mahathir said: “RCI doesn’t solve anything. It is just meant to point fingers and the fingers are pointed at him (Najib).
“There is no need for an RCI. He is the perpetrator, we wouldn’t have this problem if Najib wasn’t the prime minister.”
Source: The Edge Markets