6 July 2013
A special committee under the Transport Ministry has been formed to monitor the klia2 airport, and ensure that it will meet its latest May 2, 2014 deadline.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that the committee, which is tasked to communicate to the public the reasons behind the repeated delay of the RM4 billion project, will be headed by his deputy Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
“There will be no more delays under my watch,” Hishammuddin told reporters at a site visit to the 91% completed project.
The project has been delayed five times since September 2011, the original date for the opening. There has also reported increases in the scope of the project, though the country’s airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB), maintained again today that there were no ‘cost overruns’.
“The special committee will be in charge of explaining to the public three main areas: The issues related to cost, the increase scope, size and specifications,” said Hishammuddin.
He said that the public has the right to know all these details, though he added that to him, the reasons given to him behind the delay sounded “rational”.
However, he added that if the explanation from the committee was unsatisfactory, the same committee can decide to form another committee to perform an independent audit on the development. “These are all of public importance. The independent audit report can then be brought to me as the minister in charge of Transport,” he said.
Hishammuddin said that he was "positive" that the project can be completed in time, and said that if all parties give focus to the timeline and close ranks, “there is no reason we cannot be proud of this iconic project”.
Asked if more delays of the deadline, currently set at April 30 completion and May 2, 2014 for its opening, Hishammuddin replied sternly: “Cannot, cannot, cannot. Unacceptable. For me it is important that the date that has been announced must be met.”
“Before this, I was not at the ministry. But as long as I am in this position, whatever measures that I can take will be taken to make sure there are no restraints from any parties to make sure this project can be delivered on time.”
On Opposition leaders calling for a probe of the delays, Hishammuddin said that it was unfair for any party to accuse all 43 contractors of wrongdoing.
“That’s unfair. It involves a lot of stakeholders. It is wrong for the Opposition to randomly say this is wrong, that is not right?anybody can do that. To generally blame everybody for the delays is unjustified. ”
Asked if he was confident that the project will now meet its target, HIshammuddin refused to commit but said: “I am not an expert. To say if I am confident, I cannot say, but I hold them to their promise of that date to me as a minister.
Asked about DAP’s call for the Transport Ministry to disclose details of an independent report produced by audit firm KPMG, Hishammuddin said:”I think the Government audit will be carried out independently. The audit department is not for me to comment. I’m sure they will do whatever they are supposed to do.
“I don’t think right now there is a need for an audit yet, just that the delays and so on were not communicated well to the public.”
Since the project was first tendered in 2009, it was reported hampered by numerous delays and problems, causing cost to escalate more than 100 percent from RM1.7 billion to RM4 billion last year.
On Wednesday, the Transport Ministry told Parliament that delay in the construction of the low-cost carrier terminal klia2 has caused no financial impact on MAHB.