Agenda Daily

‘Secretive ERL concession issue to be raised in Parliament’

DAP’s Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming will be raising the issue of KLIA Express Rail Link (ERL) concession in Parliament next month in a bid to get the confidential agreement declassified.

Ong said today that since he has not received any response on the matter, he will be raising it in Parliament.

“No, I don’t think the minister has responded. I think as an MP I have a right to raise this in Parliament,” said Ong when contacted.

When asked if he would be exercising his right in the next Parliament sitting on the matter, Ong said: “Yes, correct.”

“We will have to push the government to give us a reply,” he added.

Ong had said in a statement two weeks ago that the 1997 ERL concession is due to be extended this month, giving the government a unique opportunity to not only sign an extension which is fair and transparent but also presents the government an opportunity renegotiate the existing agreement and make it public.

“To ensure the public that the government as well as the consumer or user is getting a fair deal out of this new concession agreement, I call upon the government to disclose the concession agreement by publishing it on a government website and also for the minister in charge of renegotiating the concession agreement to explain the new agreement in a press conference,” Ong had said.

Earlier this year the Auditor-General revealed that the government did not obtain “best value for money” when it awarded the KLIA2 extension project to ERL Sdn Bhd (ERLSB).

The A-G report showed that the Economic Council (EC) approved a budget of RM100 million for the extension project but noted that the final cost was RM129 million when the construction was finally completed a year past its schedule.

The A-G recommended price negotiations, in the future, to ensure the government reaps best value for money and that a supplemental Concession Agreement is finalised promptly to protect the interest of both parties. Also, the computation formula of compensation must benefit both parties and not detrimental to the government.

Meanwhile consumer groups have urged for an annual Public Transport Tariff Review Committee, compromising of all stakeholders be set up instead of disclosing entire private-public agreements.

“This would ensure so called ‘unfair’ deals do not take place, and any future hike can be done in a more transparent manner. That is of more vital concern,” said the Federation of Consumers Association (Fomca) and the Muslim Consumer Association (PPIM).-28/9/2016

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