MMC-Gamuda, the project delivery partners for the MRT2 project, has urged the government to invite them back to the negotiating table to study how the termination of the underground portion of the project issue can be further addressed.
In a statement, the company further said that it welcomes the decision of the government, led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to review the underground project, and remains committed to discuss the reduction of cost, and cooperate with the Finance Ministry.
"The outpouring by MMC Gamuda staff over the last 48 hours is sincere and directly from their hearts. Given the recent announcement of the termination of the MRT2 underground contract, we understand their reactions and are indeed empathetic of their situation.
"Nonetheless, we urge all stakeholders especially our staff, subcontractors and suppliers to remain calm, be patient and trust in the wisdom of our prime minister in his impending review process," said the statement.
On Monday, MMC Gamuda had said that its termination as the contractor for the RM16.71 billion underground portion of the MRT2 project would result in the loss of about 20,000 jobs.
These job losses, it said, would involve a supply chain of more than 600 local companies and also expose the firm to a flood of lawsuits from terminated employees, sub-contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers.
The termination has also courted backlash from affected staffas well as their friends and relatives.
An online petition asking for the underground project to be resumed has garnered more than 27,000 signatures so far.
People are also taking to Facebook and Twitter, sharing either their own predicaments, or that of their friends and relatives, with hashtags #prayforMRT2 and #save20kjobs.
Back to the drawing board
MMC Gamuda, further in today's statement, urged for a renegotiation with the government to further discuss the review process.
"We shall adopt an open-book approach with the appointment of an international engineering consulting firm that possesses the necessary experience, and track record, in assessing tunnelling works around the world, and as such, be in the best position to re-examine where savings can be derived.
"Our request in return for the open-book approach is that our Intellectual Property (IP) rights and commercially sensitive information are duly respected as such, by the said reviewing consultant and all reviewing parties, during the review process.
"MMC-Gamuda, therefore, leaves the matter in the good hands of the prime minister."
Putrajaya has been renegotiating the MRT2 project with MMC-Gamuda, a 50-50 joint venture between MMC Corp and Gamuda. The contracts were signed by the Najib Razak administration.
Under the new deal, the overground portion of the project will now cost RM5.22 billion less, amounting to savings of 23 percent.
However, MMC-Gamuda and Putrajaya could not reach a cost-savings agreement on the underground portion, which is now 40 percent complete.
According to the company, the uncompleted portion was valued at RM9.6 billion and its offer to reduce the price by 24 percent was not accepted by the government.