(Malaysian Digest) - George Kent (M) Bhd, the company accused of being the alleged beneficiary of preferential treatment by the federal government in the lucrative Ampang LRT extension project, has denied that it has already received the project.Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting today, its chairman Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock (pic) brushed off rumors that the company had already been awarded the RM960 million project.
“It (the LRT contract) is still under evaluation. It may come to us, or it may not,” he said.
“Let’s wait for the government because it has not been awarded,” he said.
He also declined to elaborate if the furor surrounding the tender could affect his company’s chances.
“We are a business group,” he said. “We don’t talk about politics. I am not a politician. Just wait. Once it is awarded, we will make a statement.”
The denial came hot on the heels of PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli’s allegations that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had supposedly interfered in the tender bid
Rafizi had claimed that George Kent had scored among the lowest points in the technical and commercial evaluation of the project.
Rafizi had on July 10 shown the media a copy of approval letter, allegedly from the Finance Ministry, to George Kent. The letter bore the signature of Datuk Fauziah Yaacob from the government’s acquisition division, on behalf of the Treasury secretary-general, and was addressed to Datuk Shahril Mokhtar, the director of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB).
PKR officials have shown copies of official documents to the press, showing that the MoF’s Acquisition Committee, which met this January 25, had decided to award the contract to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium, which bid RM1.01 billion for the job.
The committee is the highest decision-making body in the MoF and is chaired by Najib himself, who is also finance minister.
It was reported in late June that the consortium was the front-runner for the project. Among the eight groups which had bid for it included the Invensys-Balfour Beatty Rail-Ingress consortium, which was touted as the favorite to secure the project.
The George Kent consortium had bid RM1.13 billion, reportedly among the highest of the companies. The contract was initially due to be awarded in the second quarter but has been shelved to the current quarter, with the tender reported to be in the final stages.
The tender for the LRT extension project was closed on June 16 last year.
The company was accused of being unsuitable for the project as it allegedly did not meet its technical and financial requirements. The requirements would entail new rail works and upgrading of communications and signaling systems for the rail network.
George Kent currently has an order book of RM221 million worth of water infrastructure projects. The company had also completed the construction of a RM97.75mil government hospital block in Kuala Lipis.