KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7): Opposition members of Parliament (MPs) claimed today that the company that represented Malaysia in signing the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project was a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that was created with RM2 capital and formed without Parliament's consent.

Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said checks with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) showed that Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd was formed only on Sept 26 with RM2 capital.

According to media reports, Malaysia Rail Link signed the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) agreement with China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) and China Communications Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd.

Speaking at a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Rafizi said Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Najib Razak should secure Parliament's approval before forming the SPV.

"Usually, for a project this big, the PM himself has to initiate a motion in Parliament to create the SPV, like MyHSR, to raise a capital of RM10 million back then," he said referring to MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, the SPV that handles the construction of 350-km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR).

"It is as if the PM wanted to push through the award of contract as fast as possible, even faster than HSR in awarding the EPCC," he said.

Rafizi said the documents extracted from SSM showed that Malaysia Rail Link's shareholders are two senior finance ministry officials, namely Ahmad Suhaimi Endut and Dr Yusof Ismail.

Meanwhile, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming said the value of the ECRL project also appears to be uncertain.

"The project value between what the PM and CCCC claimed is different. At first they said RM55 billion, but CCCC's website stated the contract value is RM46 billion," he said.

Last week, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reportedly said the construction cost for ECRL is actually less than RM55 billion, which referred to the funds available under the financing framework.

However, following his remark, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi told Parliament that the project is under the purview of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and not the transport ministry, a reason he said hindering him from revealing more about the project in Dewan Rakyat.

EPU is a unit within the Prime Minister's Department, and the current Minister in charge of the unit is Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan. — theedgemarkets.com

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