KKIA runway unsafe

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Work has stopped following dispute with Transport Ministry over money

KOTA KINABALU: Global Upline Sdn Bhd (GUSB), the contractor for the Kota Kinabalu International Airport's (KKIA) runway expansion and resurfacing of the existing runway announced it had stopped work effective last Monday, following a financial dispute with the Ministry of Transport (MoT).

"In the interest of safety to aircraft operation and passengers alike, we would like to inform the public that the runway is not safe for landing, take-off and other operations since it has been certified non-complete by MoT," claimed GUSB Chief Adviser, Tan Sri Ting Pek Khing.

He said it was a common fact that the New Extended Runway and Resurfaced Existing Runway had been in use since April 2012 and by May 1, 2012, while the airport operates on a 24-hour basis.

He said the MoT had promised during a meeting in January 2012 that it would issue the Certificate of Practical Completion (CPC) and release 50 per cent of Banker's Guarantee if GUSB could complete Section-1 Works by April 30, 2012.

Ting said that by April 30, 2012, GUSB had practically completed Section-1 Works.

"This was achieved because GUSB had used his best financial endeavours and utilised his utmost available resources. MoT however reneged on their promise and refused to issue the CPC and subsequently release 50 per cent of the Banker's Guarantee.

"Instead, MoT issued a Certificate of Non-Completion (CNC) and imposed Liquidated Damages (LAD) claim despite the completed works having been in use ever since April 5, 2012, inter alia the new Runway Extension, Resurfaced Existing Runway, New Taxiway 'K', New Southern Taxiway 'C', New Taxiway 'E', New Taxiway 'D' and Resurfaced Taxiway 'A'," he said.

Currently, the total runway length available in KKIA is 3,000 metres and a seven-kilometre HT cable was completed and all three pump stations operated on automation.

"We have written several letters since June 2012, including to the Prime Minister asking and demanding MoT and/or Project Management Consultant (PMC) to reply and resolve the issue pertaining to the CPC and other issues affecting the completion of KKIA," he said.

But, neither MoT nor the PMC had replied or took action on issues brought to their attention until recently, on Dec 10, 2012 when instead MoT issued a notice for GUSB to complete the KKIA project within 14 days, failing which the GUSB contract would be terminated.

"It is unrealistic and impossible to complete construction works worth RM50 million within two weeks.

"At this juncture, GUSB challenged MoT's Secretary General to complete the works within three weeks after a new contractor is appointed.

Failing which, the Secretary General should undertake total responsibility on its consequences."

Ting also said that the Minister of Transport had not been on the ground to see the actual facts on site. "Hence, he does not use eyes, but uses his ears to see and relies on them to make decision(s)," he said.

The MoT was not keen to see GUSB complete the project at KKIA and intended to appoint others instead by intentionally and purposely fabricating motives to cause willful damage and injured GUSB's financial position, he claimed.

Apart from refusing to issue the CPC, and refusing to release 50 per cent of the Banker's Guarantee and imposong the LAD claim for the KKIA project, he said the Ministry also refused to pay RM113 million contractual claim for Kuching International Airport and retained RM21 million for the Labuan Airport, both projects done by GUSB.

"All of it was done in bad faith to disqualify GUSB. GUSB was left with no choice but to commence legal proceedings to recover our money for the Kuching International Airport project and Labuan Airport project," he said.

According to Ting, GUSB would undertake to complete KKIA within six months if the MoT kept its promise to issue the CPC and release 50 per cent of the Banker's Guarantee.

"When completed, it is GUSB's assurance that it will be well within the allocated Contract Sum without any additional claim or cost extra taxpayer's money to the government.

"We have RM100 million worth of machinery at the project site.

The balance contract amount is RM37 million and the Banker's Guarantee is RM36 million.

"We completed KKIA Terminal 2 building in record time (completed in six months compared to the scheduled 18 months).

We also completed two fly-overs and roadworks in Kota Kinabalu despite not receiving prompt payment from the government.

"GUSB has repeatedly brought this matter to MoT but without avail.

GUSB now broadcasts the matter to the public and leaves it to the good judgement of the public," he said.



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