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Media statement by Dr. Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, 12th November 2011:

Super high priced Luar Bandar water and electric projects

The super highly priced projects of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development had caused a shock among many people when this information was disclosed recently through some documents delivered to the DAP. These documents stated clearly all the contract values and the tender pricing for the awarded contracts.

These contracts are involving mostly on the rural water supply and electrification projects. In Sabah, there are some 49 contracts being awarded to various companies. This spreads out from Pulau Panggi to Sipitang, from the East coast to West coast and even on the islands.

I was given copies of these documents on the tendering of these projects, and he found these are extraordinary and with shocking highly priced projects. The different between the lowest tendered amount and the awarded amount to the "selected contractor" is so big, and some are 1,500% higher.

The Ipoh Member of Parliament (Beruas) Ngeh Koo Han had brought this up during the budget debate in the Parliament. He asked the minister to explain on why these highly priced projects can be approved, and whether these were done through invited tender, open tender or negotiated tender. The Minister refused to answer.

I am particularly interested to know on the Sabah cases when he saw there are 49 projects with a total value of RM 1,276.60 million. These projects are all on the rural water supply and electrification projects for the year 2011 to 2012. The tender results all showed that the lowest tender did not get the job, but someone with a position as high as 22 and with a high tender price of almost 1,500% from the lowest bidder gets the job. This is highly irregular and extraordinary, and it is way out of the normal.

Just as some examples, the "Projek Bekalan Electrik Luar Bandar (BELB) Sambungan Talian Grid Satu (1) Negeri Sabah Tahun 2011-2012" is awarded with a price of RM41,736,809.77 and the lowest tender price was only RM 7,775,000.00, with a difference of RM33,961,809.77. The "Projek Bakalan Electrik Luar Bandar (BELB) Sistem Solar Hibrid Di Pulau-Pula Semporna Sabah is given to a tender price with RM 95,282,322.00 and this definitely very high for the money spent on this island. The Solar Hibrid project to produce electricity for Pulau Panggi is given a sum of RM 81,475,281.42 and 18 months to complete.

The connection of power supply to Pulau Gaya costs a alarming price of RM42,028,491.00 and 24 months to complete. Why this cost such a huge amount to connect power to the Pulau Gaya with only a short distance of few kilometer of under sea cable. The power supply from Labuan Island to connect to our main power grid may not cost that much. There is already a power station on Pulau Gaya, and what the people there urgently needed is water supply, why the government did nothing to help them.

MP Hiew wanted the BN government to explain why the Rural Development Ministry awarded such highly price contracts to companies and some are practically unknown to the construction sector. The documents will be handed to MACC for further investigation into whether there is any corrupt practice and abuse of power involved.

* Dr Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu



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