Monday, December 11, 2006

Wither open tenders?

P. Gunasegaram, in his column in The Edge, had been one of the first to ask the question: What happened to open tenders and bids? [read his April 28, 2004 column here].
Last week The Edge carried the editorial, Whither open tenders? It asked the same questions Guna was asking nearly 3 years ago, the same ones many of us have been asking, too.
Why are are there increasing indications that open tenders for government projects are going out the window in place of direct negotiated or exclusive deals? .
...Some recent analyst reports virtually singled out YTL Corp as getting lucrative deals, among them a RM600 million transport-related job, a RM1 billion river cleanup and a RM150 million ERL terminal job at the new Low Cost Terminal in Sepang.
...It would seem that analysts and fund managers are of the opinion that such jobs will not go through a tender process. Otherwise, they would know better than to position certain companies as landing lucrative jobs without such certainty. They best way is to display clearly that open tender should be the norm in awarding big jobs. Then the whispers will stop and there'll no longer be an issue of open tender not being implemented.
YTL Corp is just one instance. One of the most memorable, to me at least, was the proposed RM400 million project to build a new palace. During the groundbreaking ceremony, it seemed nobody in authority had any idea who was going to get the project. Days later, the Press was told that the project was to be awarded to one Maya Maju Sdn Bhd. [open on Maya here]


  1. Anonymous3:44 am

    Good post, i just found out your post at Malaysian Blogs Readers . It basically list all new malaysian blog post automatically.

  2. Anonymous7:19 am

    Pak Lah, Kali and 4th Floor Boys.

    They are the classic CTSB!

    Malaysian Business asked the same question last month.

  3. Anonymous11:49 am


    I am convinced that Pak Hypocrite has fail to archive what he has promise especially on corruption. To me he has fail where is matter most, the economy. At least TDM brought the economy up while feeding his cronies. Pak Lah just commits daylight robbery and neglect the economy. I agree that most major project like the penang bridge have not been put up for tender as Pak Lah has promise.

    "It still the economy Sutpid"

  4. Anonymous12:38 pm

    Bro, just read in the soon-to-be-defunct Utusan that the RM3 billion monorail project for JB was given to Jalur Mudra Sdn Bhd. What's the beef behind this company? Asking cos Singapore's GLC SMRT Corporation is keen to take up quite a substantial stake in the project. Cheers.

  5. I just got a wicked thought,
    What if the Utusan-NST merger is just a smokescreen to divert the heat off the triple mega merger between Guthrie. G.Hope and Sime Darby.
    Give it a thought.

  6. Anonymous1:12 pm

    we need to tell this politicians that actually there are other ways to earn a good living in from business , other than being goverment- dependent CONTRACTORS !!!

  7. Anonymous1:15 pm

    we need to te3ll those polticians that there are other ways to earb a good living from business other than being goverment-dependent contractor .

  8. Anonymous1:57 pm

    The BN/UMNO is bashing the Chinese in the annual meetings, but they are giving out huge lucerative projects to this greedy YTL chinaman crony in the past, present & future, wtf...?

  9. Anonymous4:09 pm

    The answer my friends in blowing in the wind.....

    How many times must Pak Lah promised
    Before it's called a promise?

    The answer my friends is blowing in the wind.

    How many time must Pak Lah lied
    Before it's call a lie?

    The answer my friends is blowing in the wind.

    How many times must Pak Lah pledged
    Before it's called a pledge?

    The answer my friends is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.


  10. Anonymous4:47 pm

    woo hoo hoo.. evil crony like YTL?

    but the evil crony actually has the skills, knowledge and a track record of world-class projects, like YTL Sentul, KLPAC, Starhill, Mariott, Pavilion (soon)...

    so, i think YTL really deserves it.

    better than passing it to a bumi shell hence hiking up the cost about 200% before sub-contracting it out to a chinese.

    an evil crony is Vincent Tan....look at Berjaya Times Square....

  11. Anonymous6:20 pm

    If there is anything that needs the man in the street to ask, it is this: "Where's the transparency and nothing-to-hide promise that the PM espoused in his early days?"

    More and more, it is obvious that the Fourth Floor is starting to behave not any different from the cronies of the previous PM. Ah..the circle of life..

  12. Anonymous9:37 pm

    ding ding

    it's transparently corrupt
    that's the new tranparency la
    "transparent corruption"


  13. How about the JB monorail project?

    JB monorail: No share deal

    Monday • December 11, 2006

    Letter from Nebojsa Novakovic
    Director, Jalur Mudra Sdn Bhd

    I REFER to the article, "From Woodlands to Johor in three minutes", (Dec 6) and thank Today for its publication. We would like to make the following clarifications.

    The initial partnership discussions with SMRT Corp focus only on the JB Maglev Monorail system itself, as the proposed cross-border portion is subject to further approvals by both Singapore and Malaysia governments.

    There were no specific discussions on the shareholding structure at this juncture.

    Hence, information from "sources" mentioning 45 per cent share interest or related government caps is incorrect.

    The Johor Baru City Council will provide land for the right of way: A significant contribution as the right of way will be over 13 km for the first line alone and includes provisions for the elevated stations and depot locations.

    This minimises the requirement for government financial assistance.

    From Woodlands to Johor by train in three minutes?

    Wednesday • December 6, 2006

    Lee Ching Wern

    FORGET about the hour-long Causeway jams. In three years, Singaporeans may be able to take a train and zip across from Woodlands to Johor in less than three minutes.

    SMRT and a Johor construction company are in talks to erect 3-4 km-long monorail track linking Singapore's MRT stations at Woodlands or Kranji to Johor Baru's new RM3 billion monorail system.

    If the plan goes through, the monorail — for which construction is scheduled to begin next year — will be elevated across the Johor Straits and curve into the Kranji area.

    A deal between SMRT Corporation and Johor transport construction company Jalur Mudra Sdn Bhd (JM) — which will build the Johor monorail — could be clinched within the "next couple of months", JM's executive director Nebojsa Novakovic told Today.

    An SMRT spokesperson added: "We are open to various forms of partnership and are waiting for details regarding the project from Jalur Mudra Sdn Bhd for our consideration."

    Among the issues that need to be ironed out will be the customs and immigrations procedures — all-seater trains have been suggested to simplify matters — as well as the structure of the deal itself.

    SMRT has already submitted a letter of intent to JM, indicating that it is keen to be part of the project.

    There have been no political roadblocks so far. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had recently remarked on the "mixed signals" coming out of Johor over Singapore's participation in its mega development project.

    "JM has informed the Johor State Government of SMRT's proposal and there has been no objection so far," said Mr Novakovic.

    Nor will the past disputes between Singapore and Malaysia over the Causeway and a proposed bridge stand in the way, he indicated.

    According to sources, SMRT has offered to take up an equity stake of up to 45 per cent in the project. However, they say the Johor State Government is likely to cap SMRT's stake at 15 per cent.

    The project will be 30% owned by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB), which will provide the land and right of way, but not money, said Mr Novakovic.

    To make things simpler, this initiative will be privately funded.

    "It has to be financially viable as it is politically doable. This fits very nicely into the master plan of SMRT and JM. There is no government funding from either side. So far there has been no stumbling blocks," said Mr Novakovic.

    Another possibility is for JM to engage SMRT as a technology partner or business consultant.

    "It's most likely to be all of the above options," said Mr Novakovic.

    JM is now waiting to sign official concession agreements, after which it will try to hammer out its deal with SMRT, subject to approval from authorities.

    Analysts think it's a lucrative project.

    "This will be a profitable line because of the traffic. Everyday, you have 50,000 people commuting across the Causeway. With the monorail, even more people will cross the Causeway during the weekends," said a transport analyst at a foreign bank.

    FACTS about the Johor Baru Monorail:

    The Johor Baru monorail, which travels at a speed of 100km per hour is faster than Singapore's MRT and will be based on the "maglev" or magnetic levitation technology. In this, magnetic forces lift, propel and guide trains over an elevated guideway.

    The monorail will initially serve a 13.5km stretch from the state capital to AEON Tebrau City in the proposed logistics hub. Another 50km of railway lines will be added subsequently to serve other parts of the state. The Singapore link will be about 3km-to-4km long.


    JB-S'pore LRT link must be govt-level decision: SMRT

    Friday • December 8, 2006

    THE SMRT Corporation clarified yesterday that it was only in talks with a Malaysian company over building a monorail system within Southern Johor.

    It said that any proposal of a monorail link between Johor and Singapore had to be taken up at a government-to-government level.

    Said an SMRT spokesman: "Over the past few days, there have been reports that SMRT Corporation had expressed interest in building a link between Johor and Singapore.

    "We wish to clarify that SMRT had expressed interest in part- icipating in the Johor Bahru LRT Project scheduled for construction in South Johor. We are open to various forms of partnership and are awaiting details regarding the project from Jalur Mudra for our consideration."

    Earlier, Johor transport construction company Jalur Mudra's executive director Nebojsa Novakovic had said that a deal to build the monorail in Johor between SMRT and his company could be clinched in the "next couple of months". — Chow Penn Nee

  15. Anonymous12:27 am

    Brother Rocky

    Era 2004 hingga kiamat, rakyat malaysia akan saksi kan the making of 'Saddam - Asian Version' yang mana si Melayu pak mengantuk meluncai kan kaum nya, si ketam ketam dalam bakul bakul yang di tangkap seperti dalam wayang 'Happy Feet'.

    Timbul pula Mat Rempit ber tukar jadi James Bond aka Budak Itam menyelamatkan si luncai...

    Kita saksi kan lah dan sama sama kita rakyat malaysia, umat islam melayu khasnya meratapi kebodohan sendiri kerana tidak meng-ikuti ajaran Al Quran & Sunnah yang dah di perturun kan lebih seribu tahun dahulu...

    Alangkah benggap nya umat malaysia ye...

  16. thank u ktak.

    Singapore company to help create Johor Baru's monorail project?! I would have missed that if not for your alert.

    A while back I heard that instead of sourcing them locally (from suppliers of KL Monorail), the people involved in the JB monorail project decided to source their coaches all the way from China! And they were going to pay more for it, too. Of course the local players claimed that the coaches from China are nowhere near as good as our own.

  17. Anonymous5:17 am

    Sdr Rocky,

    Don't underestimate Pak Lah. He may fall asleep regularly, but he's one cunning fox.

    He has survived politics for decades by not doing anything, except sleeping and pleading "tolonglah Pak Lah."

    The Istana project and Maya Maju are not new. They are products of the last government.

    Maya Maju is a Bumi company. It received the LOI to build the palace many years ago but was held back because of conflicting views whether it should be in the city or Putrajaya. Now Putrajaya has an Istana Hinggap.

    Now Pak Lah decides to restart it. He's very selective in cancelling and implemeting Mahathir-era projects.

    However when the LOI was signed the price was much less than RM400 million. So when he restarts a Mahathir-era project, the price tag is higher. But he says he wants to balance the budget.

    In short, we are doomed. This man has no sense of proportion. Damned Mahathir for selecting him and he deserves the penghinaan for that wrong choice.

  18. Anonymous5:58 am

    The tender process is and has always been an open process. There's no doubt about it. Beleived me. There's nothing wrong with the tender process. Please understand the meaning of 'open tender'. Open tender means it's not for the public dont you understand!. It's only open to the sucessful bidder that have already being selected. It only open to the public not for bidding but for 'making noise'. That what the goverment want's. When AAB says Tender Process to be open and transprancy, it does not mean open to the public niether are 'transparency'. Read his 'stomach' for the actual meaning and you find out what he actually saying deep inside. What I heard is ' Open tender and transparency in the eye of ehem ehem...Am i misleading you or I have been misled by the Goverment or UMNO or PAS or KEADILAN or.. maybe I ' not in teh boleh land' I used to be once upon a time ago.

  19. Anonymous12:03 pm

    Want to know/learn about open tenders and transparency?
    Just check out Singapore's HDB (housing & development board) and JTC (Jurong Town Council) website. The way they call for tenders, and the tenders results are published for the whole world to see.


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