Zarul agreed that the costs for detailed design under the gazetted scale of fees was about RM41 million as stated by Abdul Rahman, but stressed that the latter amount only covered civil and structural works
GEORGE TOWN: The Works Ministry did not object to or criticise the RM305 million in consultancy fees paid by Penang when it was briefed, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd claimed today.
Its chairman, Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli, said they made a “full-fledged presentation” on the feasibility study and detailed design (FSDD) and environment impact assessment (EIA) to the ministry in April.
“The meeting was chaired by Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and it was attended by, among others, Lim Guan Eng, Lim Hock Seng, Datuk Ismail Md Salleh (Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia director general), Datuk Seri Roslan (Public Works Department director general), Datuk Zohari Akob (Public Works Ministry Secretary General), lead consultants and representatives from the Consortium,” he said in a press conference at the Penang chief minister’s office today.
Zarul stressed that during the presentation, “no adverse statements, remarks or comments” were made.
He said they had also briefed the Institute of Engineers Malaysia’s (IEM) Penang branch on September 2, 2015.
“IEM was of the opinion that the cost of RM305 million quoted by the Consortium for the FSDD and EIA works for the three major roads and tunnel projects is reasonable and competitive and within the scale of fees stipulated by the Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM),” he said.
Zarul was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s allegation that the Penang government paid consultancy fees for the three main roads that were four times more than the gazetted rate.
Abdul Rahman claimed the payment of RM177.5 million for the FSDD of the three major roads project was excessive and should have been around RM41 million based on guidelines set by BEM.
He gave the state government a week to explain this before reporting the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The RM177.5 million is part of the total RM305 million for the FSDD and EIA works for the three major roads and tunnel project. The remaining RM129.6 million is for professional fees.
Zarul agreed that the costs for detailed design under the gazetted scale of fees was about RM41 million as stated by Abdul Rahman, but stressed that the latter amount only covered civil and structural works.
“The RM177.5 million consisted more than just civil and structural works as it encompasses civil, structural and geotechnical engineering design, land survey, detailed environmental impact assessment, quantity surveyor, land tunnel design, architectural design, mechanical and electrical, project management, social impact study, traffic impact study, financial feasibility and funding management,” he said.
He said BEM was not fully briefed on the total scope of the FSDD and EIA works by the consortium, which led it to conclude that the total cost per the gazetted scale of fees is RM41 million.
Zarul also said some of the project’s scope — such as the double deck elevated highway, land tunnel and marine tunnel — were highly technical so the consortium had engaged foreign consultants to conduct specialist studies.
“We do not have local specialists to undertake the task so their fees are hard to be bench marked as the current professional institutions in Malaysia do not have the standard scale of fees for special consultants to refer to,” he said.
This is the seventh time that Abdul Rahman has questioned the RM6.3 billion undersea tunnel and three major roads project.
Zarul noted that Abdul Rahman had raised questions and “attacked” the project first on May 6, 2016 followed by second, third and fourth “attacks” within the same month. Abdul Rahman continued to question the project on June 9 last year and again on July 25 last year.
The consortium was awarded the project to build a 7.2km undersea tunnel linking Gurney Drive on the island to Bagan Ajam in north Seberang Perai.
They will also be constructing three paired roads from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway to Air Itam and Gurney Drive to the same expressway.
Source: The Malay Mail Online