Sarawak Energy Berhad which reportedly planned to award a multi-million ringgit contract to Taib Mahmud's son company "appears" to have changed its mind.
KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is calling for new tenders for the construction of 500kV transmission lines from Similajau in Bintulu to Tondong in Bau following complaints by a Sarawak DAP leader that the tender was about to be awarded to Sino-Synergy joint venture even though its bid was RM138 million higher than the lowest tender.
Claiming credit for the SEB’s decision, Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen said: “SEB is calling on the tenderers to submit new prices after I exposed that the tender was on the brink of being awarded to Sino-Trenergy Joint venture although its price was RM1,151 million as compared with the price of RM1,017 million submitted by Shanghai electric group co.”
Trenergy Infrastructure Company is owned by Mahmud Abu Bekir, son of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Bekir is a director of the company with a 25% share-holding.
In June this year, Chong who is the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa assemblyman sent a letter to the SEB Board of Directors warning them not to award the contract to build the 500kV transmission lines based on its political background and its connection.
“The decision should be based on the lowest price,” he said in the letter, expressing concern on the way how SEB was handling the contract.
He said five companies had submitted for the project, but only two namely Shanghai Electric Group Co and Sino-Trenergy JV had been shortlisted.
Chong said SEB should have awarded the contract to Shanghai Electric which submitted the lowest price of RM1,017 million, but was hesitant.
He alleged that it might decide to give it to Sino-Trenergy which has quoted RM1, 151 million. Copies of the letter were distributed to the media.
‘Waste of time’
Speaking at a dinner on Saturday night, Chong said: “Following my letter to SEB and my disclosure on the way it handled the contract, SEB two days ago called on the those who tendered to re-submit new tenders on the 505km project.
“Calling for the new tender is a waste of time as it will take another year or so for the tenderers to prepare and process their documents.
“This practice must stop,” he said, pointing out that even in an open tender they could manipulate and disregard the principle that the lowest tender should be awarded.
“Having a strong Opposition is not good enough. We need to be in government – the Pakatan Rakyat must be in the government,” he said to the applause of more than 1,000 diners.
Chong alleged that the practice was to give the tender to its own people, pointing to the fact that the tender was about to be awarded to Sino-Trenergy Joint Venture.
“Once the tender is awarded to Sino-Trenergy, it will sell its shares back to Sarawak Cable at a higher price.
“Sarawak Cable is owned by SEB. In other words, SEB is financing its own project. In this way, it is also paying some money to Taib’s son,” alleged Chong.
It is known in the media circle here that Sarawak Cable Berhad is bidding for the project through Trenergy and that Sarawak Cable will purchase the entire shareholdings of Trenergy.
“It is interesting to note that Mahmud Abu Bekir, the son of the Sarawak Chief Minister is a shareholder of Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd, holding 1,350,000 shares and also a director of Sarawak Cable Berhad.
Among those present at the dinner was DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang.