Projects issued SST will not be cancelled – Anthony Loke

Projects that have been awarded a letter of acceptance (SST) will not be cancelled, even if they were done via direct negotiations, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

He said it was an existing government policy and gave assurance that important and critical projects that required immediate action would not be cancelled.

“When the current government took over, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Minister of Finance, ordered that any project that has not been awarded SST, must be procured by tender. If the project has been approved through direct negotiation, it needs to be tendered again,” he said at a press conference after the road traffic safety management system empowerment programme here today.

On Dec 20, the media reported that the Ministry of Transport has agreed to review five development projects involving a total contract value of nearly RM650 million to be implemented via open or restricted tender.

Loke said the five projects in question had been approved for procurement via direct negotiations but the letters of acceptance had not been issued yet.

In other development regarding the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, Loke explained that the total development cost (TDC) savings of RM11.01 billion was the result of two negotiations carried out since 2018.

He said that ECRL 3.0 (the latest ECRL project) costing RM74.96 billion, consists of construction costs of RM50.27 billion, while other costs include interest during construction (IDC) and land acquisition costs amounting to RM24.69 billion.

Yesterday, Anwar was reported to have said that the ECRL will continue with a cost reduction of RM11.01 billion compared with the original total cost of RM85.97 billion approved in 2016.

Anwar said the project’s total cost was reduced although there are applications for additional cost following a new realignment and the project is still subject to the old agreement. — BERNAMA