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Gadang eyes new Pan Borneo Sabah packages next year

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): Gadang Holdings Bhd said it intends to participate in the open tender process for the three Pan Borneo Sabah packages — worth RM925 million — to be awarded next year, besides having submitted bids for some RM1 billion worth of construction jobs.

According to Khew Check Kiet, who is managing director of Gadang's construction division, the group is also awaiting the opportunity to submit its bids on the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway, as well as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, which it has been shortlisted for.

Khew was speaking to reporters after Gadang's annual general meeting here today when he said the group saw the coming year as challenging.

"The recent (national) budget announced by the Minister of Finance where the allocation for overnment projects is quite minimal compared to the previous year … and most of the budget (allocation) was for ongoing projects.

"In Peninsular Malaysia, there is not much for infrastructure works. That is why (we think) it is going to be a challenging year, with so many (market) players chasing after the limited projects that are going to be rolled out," he said.

Besides the mega infrastructure projects, Khew shared that Gadang is bidding for other jobs including a hospital project in Pasir Gudang, Johor, a kiosk in Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) City here, besides the 14-km Penang highway, as well as bridge works in Sarawak.

Total value of bids submitted adds up to about RM1 billion, and any outcome is anticipated earliest by next year, according to Gadang executive director and chief financial officer Kok Pei Ling.

On Oct 14, Works Minister Baru Bian told the Dewan Rakyat the government has agreed to award another three work packages for Pan Borneo Sabah in the first quarter of 2020 — namely packages 28, 29, and 30 — which will involve upgrading works at the Telupid and Beluran Exits, spanning almost 60km and costing RM925 million.

Apart from 12 other packages that were earlier awarded, the remaining 20 packages are expected to be tendered in the 12th Malaysia Plan between 2021 and 2025, subject to approvals from the federal government, the minister said.

At the noon break, shares in Gadang settled half a sen lower at 72 sen, bringing a market capitalisation of RM524.2 million.

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