By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin says there should be an open tender process on the KL MRT project, tweeting his disapproval against the possibility of awarding the contract, worth RM43 billion, to bidder Gamuda-MMC.
Thus far, Gamuda-MMC, after handing out its unsolicited proposal, is the only bidder in what is termed as the 'Swiss Challenge' tender process for the project, a key feature under the Najib administration's 10th Malaysia Plan.
The 'Swiss Challenge' is a form of public procurement used in usually less-developed countries, where public authorities receiving an unsolicited bid for a project, to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or exceed it
The public authority would also usually give the original proponent, in this case, Gamuda-MMC, an advantage in a competitive bidding process.
This mean, bids from competitors would have to be substantially lower or more cost-effective, to defeat any proposal from the original proponent.
Gamuda already 'Swiss cheesed' other projects?
It has been reported that Gamuda has already commenced soil investigation and survey works to prepare the groundwork for the project and is expecting a decision in three months.
Khairy, however, appears sceptical about Gamuda's ability to run the project, again tweeting his denunciation towards the company in particular.
"Can't do RM40 plus billion via Gamuda-MMC 'Swiss Challenge' or whatever. They've already Swiss cheesed Smart Tunel and double tracking (projects)," he said.
"We need a new MRT. I have no doubt about need. But award properly. Move away from legacy," he said further in a subsequent tweet posting.
Gamuda has come under heavy public scrutiny over the Stormwater and Road Management Tunnel or the Smart Tunnel project.
Many felt the stormwater tunnel, the second longest in Asia, had failed to solve the problem of flash floods in the city and also to reduce traffic jams along Jalan Sungai Besi and the Loke Yew flyover at Pudu during rush hour.
The same infrastructure giant is also involved in the fiasco over the construction delay on the costly electrified railway double-tracking (PLBKE) project that is meant to speed up traveling along the West coast line.
Government leaders have denied the accusation and maintained that the project will be completed on schedule.