Chong advises state government to seek clarification over termination of PDP Agreement

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, Feb 8: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has urged Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliamentary whip chief Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to seek clarification with the state government over the termination of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) Agreement of the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway.

He claimed that the termination of the PDP Agreement was done with the consent of the state government.

He said the termination of the agreement was signed by the state secretary and the top management of Sarawak Works Department (JKR) in the presence of national media on February 6 at the Ministry of Finance’s office in Putrajaya.

“Instead of making baseless allegations against the Minister of Finance, Fadillah should first question why the Sarawak State Government agreed to the termination of the Pan Borneo Highway PDP Agreement.

“Fadillah’s claim that the estimated cost under the PDP Agreement will only be RM15.13 billion is not only a baseless accusation against (Minister of Finance) Lim Guan Eng but also an assault against the GPS state government.

“If it were true that under the PDP Agreement, the total costs of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak would only be RM15.13 billion as claimed by Fadillah, why then would the GPS state government agree to the termination of the said PDP Agreement and decide on replacing it with the conventional method which will incur an estimated cost of RM18.8 billion,” he asked.

Hence, Chong advised Fadillah to check with the state government before making baseless accusations against the PH federal government.

In the meantime, Chong explained that the rationale for the termination of the PDP Agreement was to reduce the costs of implementation of the whole Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak from an estimated RM21.9 billion to RM18.8 billion, a saving of RM3.1 billion for the federal government.

He noted the savings of RM3.1 billion would then be channelled back to Sarawak for the implementation of other projects for the benefits of Sarawak.

To appreciate how the savings could be achieved with the termination of the PDP Agreement, he said that one must know the amount payable by the federal government to the PDP under the said agreement.

Under the said agreement, he pointed out that the PDP would be paid a fee of 5.5 per cent of the total project costs.

In addition, Chong noted that the PDP would also be fully reimbursed on all its expenses, including paying its employees’ salaries and allowances and all other expenses incurred.

That is why, he believed that upon the removal of the PDP and reverting the implementation of the project to the conventional method, the federal government could save an estimated amount of RM3.1 billion.

He observed that not only would the Federal Government enjoy savings of the 5.5% fee, he added that the federal government would also be saved the excessive reimbursement of the expenses of the PDP. —DayakDaily