KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3: Perak DAP Publicity Bureau Chief Chong Zhemin said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must explain why did he award the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link (ERCL) to China Communications Construction Company(CCCC) Limited, when CCCC was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices until January 12, 2017.
“Najib has announced that the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link will be built and financed by China with the construction contract awarded to China Communications Construction Company, while a financing agreement will be signed with Export-Import Bank of China.
“Najib must explain why did he award the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link(ECRL) contract which has almost doubled in price without open tender to a company that is dubious, questionable and engaged in fraudulent practices,” Chong said.
According to Chong, firstly, the ECRL which was initially touted to be RM30 billion has now almost doubled in cost to RM55 Billion.
“Works minister (Datuk Seri) Fadillah Yusof has as recent as 27 July 2016, denied a report by Sarawak Report that the ECRL cost will be doubled from RM30 Billion to RM60 Billion to pay off 1MDB debts. He also denied that the increment in cost was discussed in cabinet.
“What has happened in the span of 3 months that the cost for ECRL almost doubled to RM55 Billion. Najib must explain on what basis that the cost of construction increase by RM25 Billion in 3 months. Was the RM25 Billion increment in cost discussed and sanctioned by the cabinet?” he asked.
“Secondly, the China Communiations Constuction Company(CCCC) which was awarded the ECRL construction contract was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices. Under the sanction, CCCC is ineligible to engage in any road and bridge projects financed by the World Bank Group until January 12, 2017.
“Najib must explain why the ECRL contract was awarded to CCCC without open tender when it was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices.
“Sarawak Report has in July published a report that the ECRL cost will be inflated and the additional cost siphoned off to pay 1MDB debts. This claim, if true will be the biggest daylight robbery of Malaysian Taxpayers. Future generations of Malaysians taxpayers will be squandered Billions of Ringgit to pay off the scandalous and mismanaged 1MDB debt.
“I call on Najib to immediately give a proper and reasonable explanation on the haste in awarding the inflated ECRL contract to a Chinese company which is dubious, questionable and engaged in fraudulent practices,” he said.