KUALA LUMPUR: The government will reconsider the decision to terminate MMC-Gamuda as the underground contractor for the Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 (MRT2) project, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
His announcement came just two days after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet, as part of cost-saving measures, had decided to terminate the MMC-Gamuda contract to build the underground portion of the project, adding that all uncompleted underground work would be retendered out through an international open tender process.
Speaking on the sidelines of Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018 yesterday, Dr Mahathir took cognisance of the possibility of a mass unemployment as a result of the retendering exercise.
Yesterday, MMC-Gamuda issued a statement highlighting the possible loss of 20,000 jobs, of which 3,000 are MMC-Gamuda joint-venture employees, due to the retendering exercise.
Earlier yesterday, at the “Malaysia: A New Dawn” investors’ conference here, Lim said the government was committed to lowering the project costs through the retendering exercise.
He said the 20,000 employees involved in the MRT2 projects would not be out of jobs as they would be re-employed upon commencement of the project.
“They (employees) can also be from Gamuda or other companies (for the MRT2 underground project).
“We are not cancelling it (MRT2 underground project), but we want to get a better price.
“We got a better price with RM5.2bil savings for the above-ground portion.
“The government believes it can get higher savings for the underground project through an open tender,” he added.
Meanwhile, workers who are involved in the underground portion of the MRT2 project that connects Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya are worried about their future.
Engineer Muadh Mohd Nazlee said that MRT Corporation had so far not issued any official stop-work order.
“We do not know if we are to continue or stop work.
“What we do know is that we have to be ready to face any difficulties and that we all have to look for jobs elsewhere.
“It (the cancellation) was sudden. The announcement was made on Sunday and now we are left in the dark,” he told Bernama.
According to Muadh, apart from full-time employees, those under the Tunnelling Training Academy that was established by MMC-Gamuda to train local talent to carry out highly skilled construction work were also affected.
“Imagine if we are not the main contractor, will all their previous hard work be wasted?” he asked.