Malaysia

George Kent denies already won Ampang LRT job

Rafizi alleges that George Kent was given the contract because of its political connections. — File picRafizi alleges that George Kent was given the contract because of its political connections. — File picPUCHONG, July 18 — George Kent, the company accused of being favoured by the government for the billion ringgit Ampang LRT extension contract, has denied that it has already won the bid.

This comes after PKR's strategy chief Rafizi Ramli's repeated accusations against the prime minister for allegedly interfering in the tender bid and granting the multimillion contract to George Kent, which he claimed was controlled by a "close associate" of the prime minister and which also scored one of the lowest points in the technical and commercial evaluation for the project.

"It (the LRT contract) is still under evaluation," George Kent chairman Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock told reporters after the company's AGM here. "It may come to us, it may not come to us."

Tan also declined to comment if the political storm surrounding the tender could hurt his company's chances.

"We are a business group," he said. "We don't talk about politics. I am not a politician. Just wait. Once it is awarded, we will make a statement."

Rafizi had in recent weeks applied pressure on the prime minister for the alleged interference in the Ampang LRT extension tender, claiming that not only was George Kent's bid more expensive than others, but the company, which is best known for making water meters lacked sufficient track record for a major rail transit project.

In a recent press conference, Rafizi showed copies of what looked like Ministry of Finance approval letters dated June 25 2012 agreeing to appoint George Kent for the job at a cost of RM1.18 billion, which Rafizi said was RM167 million more than the bids put in by other parties.

PKR officials had also showed copies of what appeared to be official documents to the press indicating that the MOF's Acquisition Committee, which met this January 25, had decided to award the contract to Balfour Beatty-Invensys Consortium, which bid RM1.01 billion for the job.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak chairs the acquisition committee and is also finance minister.

According to the company annual report. George Kent's major shareholders are the husband-and-wife team of Tan,64 and his wife who together have a combined direct and indirect stake of about 70 per cent in the company.

George Kent's annual report states that it is an engineering company whose core expertise was in water infrastructure projects.

The report added that it was expanding to rail and green technology sectors in line with the Najib Administration's Economic Transformation Programme.

For the 2012 financial year ended January 31, the group reported a profit of RM19.3 million on the back of RM152.2 million in revenue.

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