The Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association wants the Pakatan Harapan government to provide a special quota of at least 20% for Bumiputera contractors to participate in the civil works of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project. Its honorary chairman Mokhtar Samad said this is because there are about 42,000 Bumiputera contractors who have the expertise and skills to be involved in project's civil works.
"They are capable of carrying out various works in the project. What is wrong if half of the 40% local company participation is given to Bumiputera contractors? The association wants the special quota to be created for Bumiputera contractors."
"Without the special quota, Bumiputera contractors will find it difficult to compete or share with other local companies. This is a reasonable request by the association, I believe the new government would understand the predicament of Bumiputera contractors," he told Bernama on May 26.
On April 15, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysian participation in the civil works of ECRL project would be increased to 40% from 30% following the signing of a supplementary agreement (SA) between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) on April 12.
In an interview with Bernama, the Prime Minister's special envoy to renegotiate the mega ECRL deal with the Chinese government, Daim Zainuddin said Bumiputera and local contractors should seize the opportunities in the supply and technical sectors of the project.
Mokhtar said technical, mechanical and civil works are within the portfolio of local contractors who should be allowed to participate in the development of the new transport platform.
He said the association had met MRL recently to ask for priority to be given to Bumiputera contractors for works to construct the ECRL.
Mokhtar also appealed to the government for a three-week extension to the May 30 closing date for the submission of ECRL civil works pre-tender documents.
Work on the ECRL has resumed after it was suspended last year by the Pakatan Harapan government due to its high cost.
The project is proceeding with a new track alignment and a lower cost of RM68 million per km track.