KUALA LUMPUR (July 11): Prasarana Malaysia Bhd said today it will work closely with the Ministry of Finance and both its Project Delivery Partners to bring down the total cost of the light rail transit line (LRT3) project.
In a statement today, the state-owned transportation company said it took cognisanse of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement with regards to increase in the total cost of the LRT3 project.
President and group chief executive officer of Prasarana, Masnizam Hisham – appointed in January this year in replacement of the outgoing Datuk Seri Azmi Abdul Aziz – said the management had in fact begun cost reduction processes since February.
“We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Finance and Project Delivery Partners [Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd] to identify additional areas that may help reduce said cost,” said Masnizam.
Prasarana’s statement today came after Guan Eng’s call for a drastic cost reduction to make the project feasible and cost-effective, as the projected total cost of the light rail transit line 3 (LRT3) project has spiraled to a whopping RM31.45 billion.
To recap, the latest cost estimate is significantly higher than the RM15 billion cited in recent news reports. The original estimate when the project was launched in 2015 was RM9 billion.
Guan Eng blamed it on Prasarana's poor management, adding that the ministry will not support any additional funding required for the project unless the cost is “significantly rationalised without compromising the rail network’s integrity as well as the safety and quality of service provided”. — theedgemarkets.com