SHAH ALAM: Gerbang Perdana Sdn Bhd, the contractor for the aborted RM1.1 billion “crooked bridge” that was to replace the Johor Causeway, told the High Court yesterday that its subcontractor — the ACPI-IC&E joint venture (JV) — had “misled” the company on the progress of work on the project, resulting in delays.
Gerbang Perdana had awarded a subcontract for piling, underground works, pillars and related works for the Malaysia-Singapore International Gateway project, which included the bridge, to a JV involving MTD-ACPI Engineering Sdn Bhd and IC&E Group Sdn Bhd in 2003.
Gerbang Perdana has taken both MTD-ACPI Engineering and IC&E Group to court over the latter’s right to claims for compensation after the project was terminated by the government. Gerbang Perdana had earlier rejected their claims.
While reading her witness statement in court yesterday, Gerbang Perdana general manager Nurul Huda Hashim said the first defendant — MTD-ACPI Engineering — had failed to fabricate pre-cast moulds according to the construction schedule.
However, the defendant had informed Gerbang Perdana that work was on schedule in several weekly meetings before it was revealed that the opposite was true.
“The defendant was untruthful, saying that work was on schedule which was not true,” Nurul Huda told the court.
“The defendant had misled the plaintiff (Gerbang Perdana) by saying that work was on progress in meetings when the fabrication of moulds had resulted in 108 days of delay,” she said.
However, Nurul Huda also revealed that a stop-work order issued by the government on Feb 4, 2004, was only lifted in three stages on Feb 26, 2004, Oct 26, 2004, and Aug 8, 2005.
She said the first defendant had informed Gerbang Perdana that the stop-work order had resulted in delays on their part.
The defendant had also said that the high cost of materials at the time, particularly the price of steel, had hampered rate of production, she said.
However, Nurul Huda said Gerbang Perdana had obliged the subcontractor by giving them an extension to Nov 13, 2007, to complete works.
According to the subcontract, works were originally slated to begin on Dec 1, 2003, and be completed on Dec 15, 2005.
Nurul Huda also said that the subcontractor had only appointed a consultant to advise on a particular set of segment moulds on Oct 13, 2005, much later than initially said.
“The defendant had informed the plaintiff that the fabrication of the moulds was on schedule when the specialist who was to advise them on the moulds was not even appointed,” she said.
She said despite several revisions to work schedules that were submitted to Gerbang Perdana, the defendants had failed to meet “critical deadlines” which affected the work of other contractors.
Under the contract, RM46.67 million was awarded to the first defendant, RM47 million to the second defendant and RM13.5 million was awarded for professional and contingency sums.
The hearing is scheduled to continue today, with cross examination of witnesses.
In 2003, Gerbang Perdana was awarded a RM1.1 billion contract to build the popularly known “crooked bridge”. It was also awarded a RM1.27 billion contract to build an Integrated Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex.
Gerbang Perdana is owned by the Ibex Group of Companies led by Datuk Yahya A Jalil via Merong Mahawangsa Sdn Bhd.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 17, 2014.