Drop it, Rafizi, you’re using outdated numbers, says MRT

The original estimated cost of RM40 billion for the Klang Valley MRT is “no longer relevant”.

Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) said in a statement today that this was because the figure was from a concept proposal back in 2010, and was based on prices in 2009.

“The RM40 billion figure was originally submitted in a private sector proposal for a three-line KVMRT project (to be built concurrently) to the government back in 2010… The amount did not include electric trains and related systems, as well as land acquisition,” it added, using the acronym for the Klang Valley MRT.

After the proposal was submitted to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), it was reviewed by the government which then conducted a study on it, the company explained.

“The conclusion of the study in 2010 resulted in the model for the KVMRT project being changed significantly.”

It was responding to PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli who recently claimed that the 141km MRT project had gone beyond its original budget, and could cost more than RM100 billion.

Rafizi also alleged that the project is privatised. MRT Corp denied this, saying it was wholly owned and funded by the government.

The company explained that upon the finalisation of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line, the first phase of the project, MRT Corp had announced in December 2012 the new estimated cost of RM23 billion for that line.

“Similarly, MRT Corp arrived at the estimated construction cost for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line at RM32 billion on the basis of the tenders it had awarded for the construction of the line,” it said

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As for the proposed MRT Line 3, also known as the Circle Line, MRT Corp stated that a feasibility study is being done, and the results are expected to be known in the first quarter of next year.

“In view of this, it would not have been possible for MRT Corp to give a cost estimate for the MRT Line 3.

“Any figure which had been reported as the cost of the MRT Line 3 would be purely speculative and had come from other sources, and not MRT Corp.

“As such, any assertion that MRT Corp had announced a figure for the cost of MRT Line 3 is absolutely erroneous,” it said.

MRT Corp also expressed its disappointment over what it called Rafizi’s “recent attempts to politicise” the project. It noted that in the one week since the SBK Line opened, about 210,000 passengers have used the service.

“Despite the facts on the ground making clear the benefits of the project, Rafizi has described KVMRT as a ‘bad’ project.

“However, he has not provided any explanation as to why an improved public transport system is bad for the people,” it added.