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Saturday, March 12, 2011

MRT bosses ignoring Pakatan MPs, says Siva

Patrick Lee
March 11, 2011 It appears that opposition representatives have no say in the project, even if the trains pass through their constituencies.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan MPs are often left out of consultations on the proposed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system even though the trains will run through the areas they represent.

When they do respond to questions from opposition representatives, officials of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) tend to give incomplete answers, according to Subang MP R Sivarasa of PKR.

Speaking to reporters here today, he said he was at a Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) meeting in late January when SPAD officials dropped the MRT bombshell.

The attending SPAD officers raised the subject out of the blue, he said. “I was there for totally different reasons.”

The officers were accompanied by representatives of Gamuda-MMC, SPAD’s delivery partner in the MRT project. They needed MBPJ’s approval to build train stations in Petaling Jaya.

He said SPAD did not bother to call MPs and state assemblymen for the areas that the trains would pass through.

At least four of the proposed stations would be built in Sivarasa’s constituency.

He said the officials gave a presentation about the MRT proposal, but did not give satisfactory answers to questions posed afterwards.

“I asked them why stations were here and not there, and their answer was, ‘It’s because there’s another line coming from somewhere else,’” he said.

“That’s when I learned that there were other lines. So I asked them for the locations of the other lines, but they told me they didn’t have the information.”

He said he blew his top. “I said, ‘How do you expect us to understand your rationale when you’re not telling where your other line is?’

“This is the biggest project in the history of Malaysia, and you come to the public with partial info, and justify it with a half baked rationale.”

Sivarasa said the government needed to have more public consultations before going ahead with the controversial RM53 billion project.

Despite heavy public criticism against the MRT, the government appears determined to go ahead with it. It will call for tenders for various sub-contract works in April and award the contracts by June. Construction is expected to start in July.

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