MACC, A-G to monitor MRT integrity pact

By Hemananthani Sivanandam, The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 4, 2011): The Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Auditor-General will oversee the Integrity Pact (IP) used for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project to ensure proper governance practice.

National Key Result Area (NKRA) director in charge of reducing corruption D. Ravindran said that the MRT is used as a pilot for the full implementation of the IP and the inclusion of the Auditor-General is as an oversight mechanism.

“This is new for us because the Auditor-General is mostly looked as a post factor (measure) but here we are including the Auditor-General up front so he can help ensure proper governance practice is done,” said Ravindran at a media briefing on the Government Transformation Programme today.

He added that the Auditor-General’s office and the MACC are acting as independent monitors of the project to ensure that everything is above board, as part of the integrity pact.

Ravindran said that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) also plans to include outside parties such as independent engineers and non-governmental organisations to help provide advice.

“This is the first time it’s done in Malaysia,” he said adding that Pemandu is in the midst of identifying the relevant parties.

In July, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak witnessed the signing of the IP between Land Public Transport Commission and the MRT project partner, MMC-Gamuda.

The over RM50 billion MRT project, which is 51km long, and links Sungai Buloh to Kajang, is expected to be completed in 2016.

Najib said the IP was an internationally recognised practice that would help ensure transparency in the project implementation.

Ravindran also announced that in the latest survey by Pemandu, 45% of Malaysians said their overall perception of corruption in Malaysia has improved.

A proxy survey to the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer carried out by research company TNS from March to May this year showed there was a slight drop from 51% the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, NKRA director for urban public transportation Ahmad Suhaili Idrus said that pre-feasibility studies for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail will be ready on Aug 19.

“The pre-feasibility study will allow the government to make decisions about the exact corridor and key stations. More refinement is needed and we hope the feasibility study can start by the end of the year, if (we) get approvals from the Cabinet,” he said.