The Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association is requesting the Pakatan Harapan government to provide a special quota of at least 20 percent to bumiputera contractors to participate in the civil works of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.
Its honorary chairperson Mokhtar Samad (above) said this is because there are about 42,000 bumiputera contractors who have the expertise and skills to be involved in the project's civil works.
“They are capable of carrying out various works in the project. What is wrong if there is 40 percent of local company participation, with 20 percent given to bumiputera contractors? The association wants the special quota to be created for bumiputera contractors.
"Without the special quota, I believe bumiputera contractors would find it difficult to compete or share with other local companies.
"This is a reasonable request by the association. I believe the new government would understand the predicament of bumiputera contractors," he told Bernama today.
On April 15, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the involvement of Malaysia in the civil works of ECRL project would be increased to 40 percent following the signing of a supplementary agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) on April 12.
In an interview with Bernama, the prime minister's special envoy to renegotiate the ECRL project with the Chinese government, Daim Zainuddin, said bumiputera and local contractors should seize the opportunities in the supply and technical sectors of the megaproject.
Commenting further, Mokhtar said technical, mechanical and civil works are among the expertise within the portfolios of local contractors, and should be given attention by the government and MRL to enable joint involvement in the development of the new transportation platform.
He said the association had met MRL recently to request for priority to be given to bumiputera contractors in work on the development of ECRL.
In this regard, Mokhtar also appealed to the government that the closing date for the submission of ECRL civil works pre-tender documents be extended by another three weeks, compared to the original date of May 30, following Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
The ECRL project was started by the previous BN government, and was suspended last year by the Harapan government over its high cost.
It has resumed construction and will involve a new alignment with the track reduced by 40km, apart from lowering the cost of 1km of track from RM98 million to RM68 million.