Najib: MRT success story of government direct-funded project

najib-mrtKUALA LUMPUR: Transparency, good governance and integrity were not at all compromised in the implementation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, says Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He said that in order to ensure that the project was transparent and had a high level of integrity, representatives of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) sat on the executive committee of the project.

“A good structure in terms of governance, funding and a transparent tender system and implementation have obviously been the factors that have made the MRT project a success,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.

Najib, who is also finance minister, was replying to a question from Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) on the impact of the MRT transportation system that was developed without any concession agreement and at a much lower cost than the original estimate.

The prime minister said the project was completed on schedule and with a savings of RM2 billion in the cost of construction, and proved to be a success story for a project funded directly by the government without the offering of concessions.

Najib said there were many advantages when the government developed an infrastructure project, especially a public transportation project, using the direct-financing module as it could, among others, control and monitor the project more closely by using a good structure.

As for the MRT governance structure, there was an executive committee or MRT project executive committee chaired by Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa with members from the relevant government agencies, he said.

He said the executive committee was able to look into and resolve immediately matters pertaining to allocations or constraints that hampered the progress of the project.

“This practice will be adopted in the implementation of other government projects to ensure efficient implementation based on transparency and integrity with minimal bureaucracy,” he said.

Najib also said that the appointment of a Project Delivery Partner for the MRT project was also a success factor.

Replying to a supplementary question, from Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Serdang), who wanted the government to explain to the people the overall cost of the project, including the payment to the Project Delivery Partner and cost of land acquisition, the prime minister said he would ask MRT Corp to provide the explanation.

However, he said, the cost of financing the MRT project was reasonable and it was implemented in a transparent manner.

To a question from Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor), on the allegations of some quarters that the project was a waste, Najib said it was just their political opinion.

“But the fact is that in the hearts of the people, the project is highly beneficial for them,” he said.

Najib said that in the process of ensuring that the MRT project was completed on schedule, MRT Corp had never ignored the difficulties and discomfort of any quarters throughout the alignment.

The prime minister said several amenities and infrastructure facilities had been improved, including major roads in Kajang such as Jalan Cheras and Jalan Reko which were widened from two lanes to four, and all roads had been resurfaced for the comfort of road users.

He said the construction of feeder bus and taxi stops were also given attention for the convenience of passengers.

Najib said the people in the Klang Valley whose residential areas were not near the MRT alignment could make use of the estimated 300 feeder buses or leave their cars at the Park n Ride facilities.