Najib dismisses Gamuda-MMC crony claim

Najib Razak, who was then prime minister, inspecting the site after officiating the tunnelling works for the MRT’s Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP Line) earlier this year.(Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak today rubbished claims that Gamuda-MMC, whose contract was recently terminated by Putrajaya to reduce the cost of the MRT Line 2 (MRT 2) project, was a crony of his and close to Umno.

In a Facebook post, he uploaded an image of Gamuda’s 30 biggest shareholders which included KWSP (Employees Provident Fund), PNB, KWAP and life insurance companies.

“Are these my cronies? No. Members of the public contribute to them and the benefits go back to the rakyat.

“So are the rakyat my cronies then?”

The former Umno president said this following criticism from social media users after he said the termination of MMC-Gamuda’s contract to build the underground portion of MRT 2 would result in “immediate job losses” for over 20,000 people involved in the project.

Najib, who is also the former finance minister, revealed that the contract awarded to Gamuda-MMC was done via an international open tender which saw big corporations from China, Japan and South Korea bidding for the project.

“But it is easier for people to be duped into accusing Gamuda of being my crony.”

He also said the finance ministry’s decision to re-tender all unfinished underground work through an international open tender process following the termination of the contract would not guarantee a lower cost than that offered by Gamuda-MMC.

On Sunday, Putrajaya terminated MMC-Gamuda’s contract after the two parties failed to reach an agreement.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the decision was made as the government felt it could achieve “further significant savings” through re-tendering the underground work package.