Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Fair comment from MoT on KTM direct nego, but still raise questions ...

Ministry of Transport managed to neutralise the carbotage issue, which denied Malaysia access to Facebook Internet cable link-up to North America, with the announcement ECRL will revert to earlier planned route albeit RM5 billion cheaper.

However, latest reply by MoT to direct nego issue for KTM's 10 electric train for its ETS service is raising more questions.

Malaysiakini reported "MOT defends decisions to buy 10 trains through direct nego". An excerpt reads:

According to the results of the Jan 23, 2020, open tender process, three bids submitted amounted to RM615.3 million, RM533.4 million and RM456 million, respectively.

As with government protocol, none of the bidders was named when the receipt of bids was recorded.

Incidentally, the directly negotiated contract value was RM456 million - the same as the lowest bid recorded.

MOT did not name the company that was awarded the contract. Malaysiakini is attempting to seek further clarification from the ministry.

The full statement from MoT is as below:

Basically, KSU explained the direct nego came up after 3 bidders failed the financial and technical qualification. The decision is not of MoT, the project implementor, but MoF.

The answer by KSU to the public interest issues and question raised by Sabahkini2 are both fair. There should be no malice presumed by each party on the other though Sabahkini2 did raised historical issue with regard to the KSU.

Questions should be posed to MoT and MoF with regard to this part of reply below:

“Iklan tender bagi Perolehan 10 Set (6 Car) Electric Train Set (ETS) Baharu dipamer pada 23 Jan 2020. Selepas tutup tempoh tender, hanya tiga petender yang mengemukakan cadangan dan Laporan Penilaian Tender telah dibentangkan kepada Lembaga Perolehan pada 23 Jun 2020. 

"Kesemua petender tidak mencapai markah lulus bagi penilaian kewangan dan teknikal, kerana tidak mencapai kriteria-kriteria yang ditetapkan di dalam dokumen tender,” menurut kenyataan itu. 

Since the tenderers failed to meet the criteria, government resorted to direct nego in view of time constraints and difficulty of getting companies under the train builder category.

It is the usual practise to do retendering when bidders do not qualify. The KSU fairly acknowledge to justify decision for direct nego. 

More questions arise:

  • What exactly are the financial and technical reasons that disqualify the bidders and subsequent award given to CRRC at exactly the lowest bidder's price?
  • For the cluster economic vision of the Prime Minister, government should keep businesses within Malaysian hands as much as possible. Why did government not use opportunity to nurture the companies to fulfill the contract? 

  • Is the technical specification tailored towards CRRC built trains that limit the ability of Malaysian train builders to fulfill? 
  • Did the existence of CRRC Rolling Stock Centre gave the advantage to CRRC over Malaysia train builders?
  • If all trains of KTM built from China, will the MRO work depend on them?

Questions asked for the sake of safeguarding Malaysian industry and interest. No malice intended.

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