MRT Line 2: 20,000 to lose jobs, complexities from the underground works

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I was wondering what will happen to the people involved in the underground work portion should MMC-Gamuda does not win the international tender which will be called by the Finance Ministry. I read the answer today. The article was in many media and one of it is this one in FreeMalaysiaToday.com : MMC-Gamuda: Termination of MRT2 contract will leave 20,000 jobless

According to MMC-Gamuda, the termination of its contract to build the underground portion of the MRT Line 2 (MRT2) will result in “immediate job losses” to over 20,000 people involved in the project from a supply chain of over 600 Malaysian companies. In a statement, it said, “Of the 20,000, over 3,000 are made up of MMC-Gamuda JV staff, and of this, more than 60% are Bumiputeras. In addition, the termination will unjustifiably expose MMC-Gamuda to a flood of lawsuits for compensation from terminated employees, sub-contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and so on, whose contracts will similarly be terminated due to no fault of theirs.”  Full article in FreeMalaysiaToday.com

MMC-Gamuda said it was supportive of the government’s drive to improve the country’s fiscal health and offered a 24% reduction (RM2.3 billion) for the balance 60% uncompleted underground works. This could be achieved by reducing the number of entrances to stations and the number of active stations constructed. From a total number of 10 stations, four will currently be shelved.” MMC also explained that the two primary factors affecting the costs of underground works were the increased scope of works compared to the MRT Line 1, such as large floor space and a fivefold increase in the underground entrance and pedestrian walkways, among others. The other key factor is the safety requirement due to the high risk of sinkhole incidents caused by tunnelling through “extreme karstic limestone” in the city centre, including under high-end properties. It added that if the affected ground collapsed, it could result in “hundreds of millions” in financial losses.

Another article in TheStar.com.my here: MMC-Gamuda said that the underground works was awarded to them in 2016 after an international competitive tender that, due to the challenging ground conditions, had stringent pre-qualification requirements with only five contractors being pre-qualified by MRT Corp Sdn Bhd to tender. Out of the five, MMC-Gamuda was the only local company which qualified. The bids were evaluated by the reference design consultant, Arup Singapore Pte Ltd, which was appointed by MRT Corp. The bid from MMC-Gamuda scored the highest technical score and offered the lowest price. 

I think it’s now fully dependent on Finance Ministry’s international tender for the remaining underground works. MRT Line 2 is not just about the Finance Ministry or MMC-Gamuda. It’s not even just about convenience but we are talking about underground work which will have to be carried out with the highest level of expertise. Safety aspects must not be compromised at all regardless of who actually wins the international tender and PLEASE, the evaluation of the winner must be done by EXPERTs regardless of who. There should be no other interferences and cost must not be looked at from the savings part yeah. It’s also the future potential happenings too. Happy following.
written on 9th Oct 2018

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