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KTM purchased China-made locomotives and coaches is repeating same mistake

As reported in the Chinese Malaysiakini news portal, Malaysia is spending 1.9 billion to purchase six sets of locomotives and coaches from China.

Besides the issue of high price tag per unit of RM 50 million with 500 million over-budget, China-made trains are infamous for poor quality, reliability and maintenance issues. In the layman term, more frequent maintenance is needed and more downtime.

Meeting European safety standard is crucial, but there are other more important factors like maintainability and after sales service which are ignored by Transport Ministry.

KTM had suffered low availability or readiness for China-made Class 29 locomotives in the past.

Why Malaysia government is repeating same mistake?

Obviously, this is another direct negotiation a.k a. rent-seeking scandal under the name of NKRA.

29 Class locomotives purchased by KTM from China having maintenance issue.

The explanation from Ong Tee Keat, our ex-Transport Minister in his blog,

The full story on EMU train procurement
Submitted by webmaster on Thu, 2010-07-01 09:41

The procurement of 38 sets of 6-car set EMUS (Electric Multiple Units) was made an issue in Parliament yesterday. Doubts were raised on the increase of RM500 million in the expenditure of securing such train sets. But the allegations and innuendos hurled were not substantiated with any concrete evidence.

I am afraid the Deputy Minister of Transport did not manage to clarify the doubts raised in a convincing manner.

As the immediate past Minister of Transport, I have no intention to play spokesman for the Ministry or any party involved in the procurement. Nonetheless, I simply cannot help but to lament over the instant noodle partisan politics currently practiced.

I am amazed by the conspicuous absence of the following key points in the procurement:

a) The 2008 KTM tender of 8 sets of 3-car EMU trains was cancelled and not awarded, in the light of new demands and needs highlighted by the National Key Result Area (NKRA) for Urban Public Transportation that surpassed those contained in the tender;

b) The quantity under the procurement is for 38 sets X 6 car, as compared to the original tender for 8 sets X 3 car. Any price comparison must always be based on the technical specifications or we run the risk of comparing apples with oranges;

c) The direct negotiation for the procurement was not directed and endorsed by the Ministry of Transport, but by the Ministry of Finance.

Perhaps parties that failed to secure the deal in the past tender either deliberately or inadvertently did not tell their spokesmen in Dewan Rakyat the entire truth about the procurement.

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tunglang says:

Smells of under-table, even a donkoi knows this! Our Ah Kong’s money is mercilessly drained by the corrupts. MACC, are you game for this case? Let’s see.