Saturday, June 17, 2006


Datuk Shahrir today disputed the media figure that the cost of canceling the bridge project is higher than the original cost on the fact that the land swoop deal, worth RM380 had never been cancelled and should not have been added to the total cancelled cost.
During the hour-long meeting on 12th June 06, the PAC was told that cancellation of the project will cost the government an estimated RM740 million. This includes RM170 million for preliminary works done, RM100 million in compensation to the contractor and RM470 million for the flyover and connecting roads.
And he also warned that the ORIGINAL COST of RM2.39billion would balloon and escalate as there are many other costs (which are difficult to quantified) like-
1. REPLACING the old RAILWAY & water PIPE lines
3. REMOVING causeway.
So the present Government under PM A A Badawi is fully justified in aborting this so called “scenic bridge” project in the light of the mounting costs the rakyat might have to face if to build it is given the “yes”, just the runaway cost in ‘double railway project
To echo the words of Tun Musa hitam in his Interview with Bernama,, read here
“When he first became the Prime Minister, he probably did not know then. Now he knows in depth. He says this is wrong, this is not suitable. In the national interest, this is not good. What's wrong in making changes?. We must remember that ultimately it is the rakyat who will decide whether a government led by a particular leader, by a particular party is fit to govern or continue to govern. That is the essence of democracy. We cannot say one is not working for the national interest”
Petronas money is not government money. Petronas money is the people's money and the government should know it must be used. The people's money should not be abused. “
The nagging question is WHY Samy Vellu is so reluctant to negotiate the cost of compensation.? Where is the transparency? Is he acting in the interest of the rakyat or the contractor? See the Names and people of
Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd.
Now read on the full account in the latest Bernama dispatch on June 17, 2006 19:47 PM
Cost Involved In Scrapping "Scenic" Bridge Lower Than Reported, Says PAC
JOHOR BAHARU, June 17 (Bernama) -- The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said Saturday the actual cost incurred following the scrapping of the half-bridge or scenic bridge that was to have replaced the Malaysian side of the Johor Causeway linking Singapore was lower than reported.

PAC Chairman Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said the cost was only RM740 million and it took into account the RM170-million claim by the contractor, Gerbang Perdana, for work done, RM100 million in compensation by the government to Gerbang Perdana, RM280 million for building a new flyover highway and RM190 million for old works to be continued.

The media had reported that the government might have to fork out RM1.12 billion in compensation, for building a new highway and land premium, while the construction would cost RM1.113 billion.

Shahrir said the land swop deal, worth RM380 million in land premium, between the Johor and federal governments for Bukit Chagar in exchange for Tanjung Puteri had never been cancelled.

"As far as I can remember, no decision has been made to cancel the land swop deal," he told reporters after officiating the Parent-Teacher Association meeting of Sekolah Menengah Datuk Jaafar, here.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had said recently that the land premium of RM380 million was for the usage of land at the old Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Tanjung Puteri and the new CIQ Complex in Bukit Chagar.

He said the building of a new flyover highway that connects the Causeway to the new CIQ had rendered the land in Tanjung Puteri almost useless. Shahrir, who is the Member of Parliament for Johor Baharu, disagreed saying that with the new flyover highway, there was still enough land in Tanjung Puteri for the state government to carry out its development plan.

"The flyover highway would curve from the west of Tanjung Puteri to connect with the new CIQ in Bukit Chagar, leaving large areas of Tanjung Puteri, including the huge Lorry Inspection Centre, untouched," he said. Both pieces of land measured about 16 hectares each, with the Bukit Chagar land being costlier than the coastal land of Tanjung Puteri, he added.

On Abdul Ghani's statement that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed for the federal government to pay the state government RM70 million for the land swop, Shahrir said the PAC also wanted to know what the fair value was for the land swop.

Commenting on media reports on the cancellation of the scenic bridge, Shahrir said there were other factors that had never been taken into account and many of these were hard to quantify at the moment.

"Beside the legal issue with Singapore, there are other costs like replacing the old railway line and water pipeline to Singapore, the cost of dredging the Johor Straits and also the cost of removing the Causeway," he said.

On Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's decision to only give a written reply to the PAC, Shahrir said the 14-member committee would look into Samy Vellu's reply on June 22.

He said what the PAC had wanted was for the Public Works Department (JKR) to negotiate for a lower compensation to be given to Gerbang Perdana.

He said this should and could be done as the Works Ministry had kept on giving new projects to Gerbang Perdana, like the construction of the new flyover and other projects involving the new CIQ, without Gerbang Perdana having to go through the proper tender process.

"If the Works Ministry does not do this, then we will have to question it again in the future," Shahrir said.

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