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PM must explain if rail project inflated to pay 1MDB debt, MP says
Published:  Jul 28, 2016 2:04 PM
Updated: 8:59 AM

The East Coast Rail Link would cost more than double per kilometre if detailed documents exposed by Sarawak Report are true, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said.

Sarawak Report on Tuesday exposed allegedly leaked documents showing the contract will be awarded to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) at RM60 billion, or RM96.8 million per kilometre.

Pua said this would be a "monstrous" 120 to 140 percent more than the northern and southern double-tracking projects respectively.

The 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar double-tracking project was awarded to MMC-Gamuda for RM14.5 million, or RM44 million per kilometre in 2003, while the Gemas-Johor Bahru project was awarded to China Railway Engineering Corporation for RM7.1 billion or RM39.8 million per kilometre.

In 2014, Bernama reported the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) estimated the cost of the 620km East Coast Rail Link to be about RM30 billion.

"We call upon Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to confirm or deny that the award of the contract to CCCC is in the works, and provide transparent and accountable justifications for the award in the absence of any competitive tender exercise," Pua said in a statement today.

The documents published by Sarawak Report detail how RM30 billion was added to the cost of the project, to secretly pay off 1MDB debts.

This included channelling back the money through businessman Jho Low, via the purchase of two companies he supposedly controls, Loh & Loh Corporation Bhd and Putrajaya Perdana Bhd.

Malaysiakini is unable to independently verify these allegations or the authenticity of the documents posted by the website.

Asked yesterday, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said he cannot immediately comment on the project as he has no details on the project with him.

Works Minister Fadillah Yusof said the project comes under the jurisdiction of the Transport Ministry and the Land Public Transport Department (Spad).

Fadillah aslo said the project was not discussed in cabinet, as claimed by Sarawak Report.

Malaysiakini has contacted SPAD chairperson Syed Hamid Albar for his response on the matter.