Liow most ‘blinkered’ Transport Minister, says DAP


A visualisation of the KLIA2 terminal.

A visualisation of the KLIA2 terminal.

An opposition lawmaker today rapped a cabinet minister for ignoring the cost overruns in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) project, calling the latter a “blinkered horse” for denying the obvious.
DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement today criticised Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai continues to delude himself that the cost for KLIA2 had never ballooned from its original cost.
“Malaysians are left in a state of disbelief when (Liow) told Parliament, in response to a question from Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz that: “The KLIA2 project has never experienced cost overruns. The cost of the project increased because of an additional scope due to the new design concept for klia2, or the specific needs of the stakeholders like airlines and the government”,” Pua said.
“The Minister’s reply yesterday runs contrary to all the facts staring at Malaysians in the face, and all the previous announcements by both the Ministry of Transport and the Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB),” Pua added.

Liow is the most blinkered Transport Minister ever, says Pua

The initial budget for the airport in July 2007, Pua said, was only RM1.7 billion, but it was raised to RM2 billion in March 2009, and then RM2.5 billion in October 2010. 
“MAHB then shocked Malaysians by disclosing that the cost of the new airport has ballooned to RM3.9 billion due to cost overruns in November 2011. Following that, in October 2012, we were told in Parliament by the then-Deputy Transport Minister, Abdul Rahim Bakri that the cost was increased to RM4 billion,” Pua said.
KLIA2, which was completed last year, was supposed to be a low-cost carrier terminal linked to KLIA and was also supposed to replace the current Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang. It was not a smooth take-off for the terminal, however, as news reports came in of faults such as cracks on the apron of the airport (aircraft parking area) and ‘ponding’ of water at the same area after heavy rain.  
A picture which went viral on social media of workers scooping water off the tarmac at KLIA2

The picture which went viral on social media of workers scooping water off the tarmac at KLIA2

Pua, who is also Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member, said the reason for the escalating project costs were investigated at length, and the PAC tabled its report to Parliament last November. However, the delays and the cost overruns were ignored by Liow, said Pua.
“The report on the RM4 billion ringgit KLIA2 scandal had found many suspicious and controversial decisions by MAHB, including locating KLIA2 at KLIA West, a site which has been documented by engineers as costly and ill-suited for airport construction, and for a satellite-type terminal instead of a finger pier terminal as proposed by the airport consultants as among key causes for the massive cost-overrun,” he said.
Pua added that Liow is worse than his predecessor, the embattled former MCA president Ong Tee Keat, and said that Liow lacks authority, courage and backbone to do the right thing.
“Liow became the most hopeless Transport Minister ever by backing and defending the culprits who caused substantial losses to Malaysian taxpayers,” Pua said.

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