Document shows Najib’s committee settled for ‘ill-qualified’ George Kent

(Harakah) – After revealing an evaluation report which shows builders George Kent ill-qualified for the RM1 billion LRT extension project, prominent whistleblower Rafizi Ramli today made public a document showing prime minister Najib Razak’s interference in the procurement process in order to appoint the company.

According to PKR strategic director, minutes of a June 21 meeting by the Finance ministry’s Procurement Committee chaired by Najib as well as a letter dated June 25 to Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad clearly showed George Kent, which was cited as failed to meet the criteria for the project, ultimately being awarded the project at RM167 million costlier.

Other members of the committee are Second Finance Husni Hanadzlah, treasury chief secretary Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah and his deputy Norizah Bahari.

Rafizi pointed out that George Kent, whose price tag was RM1.18 billion, was appointed by the committee over Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium (Balfour), Prasarana’s preferred choice for the project.

This was despite Balfour’s construction cost being lower at RM1.01 billion.

“What was Najib’s actual consideration? He is willing to endanger the lives of hundreds and thousands by appointing a company owned by his close friend,” Rafizi was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.

George Kent belonged to Tan Kay Hock, who Rafizi said was a friend of Najib since his secondary school days.

He urged Najib and the Finance ministry to come clean on the procurement process which settled for George Kent, despite failing technically and financially as stated in the evaluation report prepared by renowned engineering consultant Halcrow.

Rafizi also claimed that in the event George Kent was granted the project, it would task a company involved in the scandal-ridden purchase of the Scorpene submarines from France.

As such, he questioned whether the extra RM167 million quoted by George Kent was “commission as in the case of the Scorpene submarines”.

Najib has been accused of being involved in corruption linked to the submarines purchase, currently being investigated by a French tribunal over alleged RM600 million in kickbacks.