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George Kent confident getting LRT job done

 | August 3, 2012

The company expressed confidence that it could complete its work in 44 months.

PETALING JAYA: Water restructuring company George Kent (Malaysia) Berhad is keen on getting its hands wet with the Ampang Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension project.

It said that it was confident that it could get the rail job done, denying PKR’s claims that the project would sink if the company got its hands on the RM956 million system works contract.

In a press statement, George Kent executive director Cheong Thiam Fook said: “We strongly refute the baseless allegations that [the] George Kent – Lion Pacific Joint Venture (GKLP-JV) failed the full technical and commercial evaluations [of the project].”

Citing national transport company Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad, he said that the company was not only “100% locally-owned”, but also supported by “reputable local and international multi-disciplinary technical partners”.

The company also expressed confidence that it could complete its work in 44 months.

Previously, George Kent’s technical competence was questioned when PKR’s strategic director Rafizi Ramli revealed that the company got a RM1.2 billion rail contract, despite having allegedly lower scores in an open tender for the Ampang Line job.

(George Kent claimed that the contract was worth RM956 million.)

Armed with documents, Rafizi showed that engineering consultant company Halcrow viewed GKLP-JV as unable to meet the project’s requirements.

PKR would also point out that the company did not seem to have any previous rail-related experience, and that its largest project to date was worth less than RM40 million.

According to the company’s 2012 annual report, it had been involved in various water projects. Its first non-water job was a Kuala Lipis hospital extension project in Pahang.

Despite these factors, Rafizi showed how the government seemed to favour George Kent above its seven competitors in the open tender, including the British-based Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium.

According to a previous FMT report, a June 25 official letter stated that the contract had been awarded to GKLP-JV on four days earlier.

It was supposedly signed by the Treasury’s Procurement Committee (JPMK) under secretary Fauziah Yaacob and was addressed to LRT developer Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd’s (SPNB) group managing director Shahril Mokhtar.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who has been accused of being closely-linked to George Kent, refrained from confirming or denying that the contract would go to the company.

On July 31 however, Prasarana announced that George Kent was getting the project.

Rafizi was arrested two days ago on a Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) charge. He has tied his arrest to his exposure of the George Kent contract.

PKR’s allegations did not sway Cheong, who said that the company outperformed its competitors.

“I believe that the combination of the various strengths of our proposal, such as our full-bid compliance, our meeting all technical and other requirements won us the contract in what was a hotly-contested international tender.

“Due to its complexity, the submission ran through a large number of stages during the bid process, requiring evaluation by many experts, all of whom had their various imputes evaluated by the tender committees at the various stages,” he said.

No privy to government processes

In another statement issued later today, George Kent reiterated that it was confident of delivering the Ampang Line Extension Project on cost and on time.

“GKM is not privy to confidential government processes and documents and as such, cannot comment on purported official documents.

“GKM would like to emphasise that it is now fully focused on delivering the project for the Malaysian public in accordance with the levels of governance and transparency expected of a Public-Listed company,” it said in a document.

Also read:

‘Declassify George Kent tender documents’

Rafizi dakwa George Kent bohong


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