Contractors involved in RTS reminded to deliver on time


JOHOR BARU: Contractors involved in the construction of the Malaysian portion of the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) have been reminded to always keep to their timeline, as in the past, some RM1bil in total projects have been omitted from those who were not performing.

Mass Rapid Transit Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim (pic) said that currently they have achieved 65% completion of the project midway and are on track to complete the project by December 2026.

“For me, the number one principal is to ensure the timeline, trust and mandate to deliver the project cannot be sacrificed,” Mohd Zarif said, adding that currently there are some eight major contractors and 40 subcontractors, with some 2,000 workers involved in the civil construction period of the project.

MRT Corp is the project owner of the Malaysian portion of the RTS.

Asked about MRT’s strict policies with regard to contractors, Mohd Zarif said it is not just their policy but a government policy.

“The recent chief secretary’s directive to agencies and public servants is not to be scared to take action against non-performing contractors because we need these projects to be delivered for the people.

“The RTS is a national project with its own timeline. We have to be strict,” Mohd Zarif said in an interview.

Asked as to how many contractors had been terminated in the past with regard to the RTS, he said they (MRT Corp) called it omission of scope, whereby their own team would take over to continue to do the job.

“At the same time, we start the procurement process, as a big project like this will require a new tender exercise to appoint a new contractor.

“So once a new contractor is appointed within six or eight months, we will then hand over the project to them.

“During this period, there is no stop to the work, as we do not want any delays,” he said, adding that MRT Corp has been around for the past 10 years and has the experience to carry out such projects.

He added that, with their minimal dependency on external contractors, MRT Corp was able to take action against non-performing contractors.

Asked about whether these major omissions had led to MRT Corp “ruffling feathers” with certain quarters, Mohd Zarif admitted that there were stressful moments but he is satisfied with the fact that MRT Corp is poised to deliver such a mega project on time.

Mohd Zarif expected more companies to be appointed for the RTS project as they would also need contractors for drainage, landscape, information technology (IT) and others in the next three years.

On whether the RM5bil price tag for the project is expected to balloon at the end of the project in 2026, he said he does not believe so as most of the raw materials, especially steel, which had jumped up by 36% in the past, had already been sourced.

Regarding the project’s spillover benefits, Mohd Zarif stated that he is confident that it would attract five times more investments, totalling RM25bil, into the country.

“Over time, with all the effort being made by all other parties, such as the Iskandar Development Authority (IRDA), Johor Corporation (JCorp) and the creation of the special economic zone, I am confident that this RM25bil mark can easily be achieved,” Mohd Zarif said.

He added that MRT Corp alone is hoping to bring in RM3bil in investments via its property in Bukit Chagar.

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