Tony Pua Says MMC-Gamuda Is Brazenly Painting Themselves As "An Innocent Victim"
Today, in an open letter, Tony Pua, who is the political secretary to the Minister of Finance, took the directors of MMC-Gamuda to task in the wake of the joint venture's sly public relations campaign
In the open letter, Tony sarcastically "applauded" MMC-Gamuda for "putting up a great show" of innocence since Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng decided to terminate the contract for the MRT2 Above Groundworks as both the Government and the joint venture could not reach an agreement on the required price reduction.
"You have issued a letter proclaiming innocence, claiming that you were waiting for an offer from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). You questioned the qualifications of the independent engineering consultant we have engaged. You implied that the decision to terminate was hasty and ill-conceived. You sought sympathy claiming the loss of jobs for no less than 20,000 people (wow!)," LGE's political secretary wrote in the open letter.
Tony says that MMC-Gamuda ran the campaign to appear as "innocent victim" while conveniently ignoring the question of the cost of the project to the Government.
According to Tony, while the Government didn't want to indulge in a public war of words with MMC-Gamuda, it decided to set the facts right and record straight after seeing the later's bullying campaign
Tony cited a study by an independent engineering consultant, which said that MRT Corp should expect total savings between RM4.19 to RM5.79billion for the estimated remaining 60% portion of works yet to be completed.
However, he noted that MMC-Gamuda had only offered to reduce the price to RM14.58billion (cost saving of RM2.13billion) for the Underground contract, which comes after shelving the 2 underground stations at Bandar Malaysia North and South.
The Government decided to terminate the underground contract to "honour the mandate and trust the people has given us and maximise the savings we can reasonably derive from the project"
"Do we say, "it's OK la, let's just accept the RM2.13billion reduction offered by MMC Gamuda”? After all, we can take this figure and boast to Malaysians of our ‘magnificent’ achievement, for they would know no better that we might have left another RM2billion of potential savings on the table. Furthermore, it will certainly save us the trouble of having to deal with the negative publicity and the new international tender exercise which has to be carried out. Too much work... Or.
"Do we honour the mandate and trust the people has given us and maximise the savings we can reasonably derive from the project? RM2billion can pay for 5 hospitals or 50 schools. RM2billion is a hell of a lot of money when I see my MoF colleagues who are struggling and scrimping to find RM50million savings here, and RM80million cuts there for the upcoming Budget.
"The Cabinet obviously made the decision to pick the latter. And you seriously telling Malaysians to blame the Cabinet for the termination?"
Tony also stood by the qualifications of the independent consulting engineer, which has a track record of 80 projects in 24 countries
Tony clarified that the government was not terminating MRT2 underground project but terminating the contract to the company
According to Tony's open letter, the Malaysian Government is not terminating the Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) underground work project because the government plans to award the project to a contractor which can undertake the work at a lower cost.
He urged all MMC-Gamuda employees affected by the cancellation to channel their frustrations at their bosses, and not the government.
"You will find plenty of opportunities when the new project is awarded at a lower cost, while the savings generated would mean even more projects for the future.
"But perhaps, instead of starting a petition on Change.org to seek the Government to reverse its decision on the termination, it might be more productive to start a petition to ask your bosses at MMC Gamuda to make the Malaysian government an offer they cannot refuse," Tony addressed the purported 20,000 workers.
Meanwhile, following the termination of MMC-Gamuda's contract, the company's employees have taken to social media to appeal to the government over the termination: