Bumiputera contractors want 20% share of ECRL civil works

KUALA LUMPUR: Bumiputera contractors are seeking a special quota of at least 20% of civil works in the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project to be set aside for them.

They also want a three-week extension of the closing date for the submission of pre-tender documents for ECRL civil works. The original date is May 30.

The chairman of the Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association, Mokhtar Samad, said about 42,000 Bumiputera contractors have the expertise and skills to be involved in the project.

“They are capable of carrying out various works in the project. What is wrong if there is 40% local company participation, with 20% given to Bumiputera contractors? The association wants the special quota to be created for Bumiputera contractors,” he said.

“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.”

On April 15, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia’s involvement in the civil works of the ECRL project would be increased to 40% from 30% following the signing of a supplementary agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd.

Mokhtar said local contractors had expertise in technical, mechanical and civil works and should be given attention by the government and MRL to enable joint involvement in the development of the rail link.

He said the association had met MRL recently to request for priority to be given to Bumiputera contractors in works on the development of ECRL.

The RM44 billion ECRL project involves the construction of a 688km rail line from Port Klang to Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Baru and Tumpat.