KUALA LUMPUR: No local or bumiputra contractors were sidelined under the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
"It is not true. The supplemental agreement number 5 (SA5) was concluded by Pakatan Harapan in 2019 and we have taken the initiative to adhere to the conditions under the agreement.
"For civil works, a total of 40% will have to be given to local contractors which amounts to RM8.6bil.
"Of this, 30% will be given to bumiputra contractors," he said in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday. (Oct 5)
Dr We was responding to Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) who interjected and claimed that there were no bumiputra contractors involved in the ECRL project.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon reminded Tajuddin not to interject as he had given the floor to June Leow (PH-Ulu Selangor) to raise a supplementary question to Dr Wee.
Dr Wee pointed out to Tajuddin that a special committee was set up by the government to ensure local and bumiputra contractors were included in the project.
He said that representatives from the Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry and Bumiputra Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) met monthly to ensure that the main contractors of the ECRL project adhered to the condition.
"We also have set an annual milestone which we want to achieve.
"The goal is to achieve 30% bumiputra and 40% local contractor participation in the ECRL project by 2024," he added.
Earlier, Dr Wee informed the House that so far, 23.96% of the project had been completed compared to the scheduled target of 25%.
He noted that the slight delay was due to the various movement control orders (MCO).
He also said that more than 37 engagement sessions were held with 17 Federal and state departments and agencies to resolve the project's original north alignment covering Temerloh-Gombak-Serendah and extension to Port Klang.
He added this was to address social economic and environmental issues such as those surrounding the Quartz Ridge and Batu Dam.
He said that the Cabinet had approved in principle for the project to revert to its original alignment during meetings on Aug 21 and Sept 7.