Tony Pua tells Najib: Stop feigning innocence over inflated LRT3 project cost


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Jul 2018

PETALING JAYA: DAP's Tony Pua (pic) has urged former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to "stop feigning innocence" over the inflated RM31.65bil Light Rail Transit line 3 (LRT3) project.

Prasarana Malaysia previously secured a government guarantee for a RM10bil bond facility to fund the LRT3 project in 2015.

In March 2018, Prasarana requested for an additional RM22bil in government guarantee to ensure funding for the construction and completion of the LRT3 project.

Najib had previously told Malaysiakini that the additional loans requested to fund the LRT3 project were not approved.

Najib, who was Finance Minister at the time, claimed that the letter seeking an additional RM22bil in government guarantee to ensure funding for the construction and completion in the LRT3 project never reached him.

Pua, in a statement on Wednesday (July 18), said that Najib had "failed miserably" as Finance Minister.

"Surely you cannot be unaware that the so-called RM9bil budget for LRT3 you 'approved' was merely for the construction cost of the LRT? It did not include among other things, land acquisition, PDP fees, other consultant fees, operational and overhead costs, as well as interest during construction," he said.

Pua, who is a special officer to the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, said that RM15.2bil worth of Work Package Contracts (WPC) for the construction of the LRT3 project was already awarded to Prasarana Malaysia.

"Each of these WPCs were approved by the Ministry of Finance, of where you were not only the Minister, you personally chaired the tender committee meetings," said Pua.

"Hence you were obviously terrible with your job since you now claim that "no contracts worth RM15bil … were signed," he said.

Pua said that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng did not say that Najib had approved the additional RM22bil requested.

"All the new Finance Minister said was the total cost of the project according to Prasarana themselves has increased to RM31.65bil," he said.

"Datuk Seri Najib Razak should ask himself how he was so incompetent, ignorant, clueless and irresponsible as to be completely not aware of how the cost of the LRT3 project has gone out of control," said Pua.

Last week, Lim announced that the final cost for LRT3 has been reduced by 47% from RM31.65bil to RM16.63bil, saving Malaysians a total of RM15.02bil.

The RM16.63bil will include all project costs, including but not limited to WPCs, land acquisition, project management, consultancy fees, operational and overhead costs, as well as interest during construction.

"The Pakatan Harapan administration has no intention to hide the true cost of the project. In this case, the overall total cost of the project has been renegotiated down to RM16.63bil," said Pua.

LRT3 project