Wastages in A-G Report nothing compared to KLIA2, says Ex-NST Boss
KUALA LUMPUR – The list of wastages and mismanagement in the latest Auditor-General’s report pale in comparison with the problems that have led to the cost overruns at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, according to the veteran journalist, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
The former group editor-in-chief for English daily New Straits Times urged for a probe on the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, and the main contractor of the airport.
The airport for budget carriers carries a RM4 billion price tag, three times the original estimate. The airport is expected to open on May 2, about two years behind schedule.
“There must have been parties who were incompetent, neither careful nor transparent but conversely, corrupt,” Kadir wrote in his blog
Those factors, he argued, had led to delays and ballooning costs alongside workmanship of questionable quality.
The construction of the airport for budget carriers have come under intense scrutiny by opposition MPs over its RM4 billion price tag, three times its original cost estimate.
“We do not choose the government, pay taxes and obey the laws only to be played by those we have awarded mandate and trust.”
According to Kadir, it was reasonable for low-cost carrier AirAsia, the budget airline which will form the bulk of flights at the new airport, to question the readiness and safety of the airport.
“Imagine what will happen to our image if something undesirable or a major technical problem happens in the new terminal,” he added.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, the firm which operates the country’s airports, said last week that it will push ahead with the opening of KLIA2 and shut down operations at the current airport used by budget carriers, Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), by May 9.
On April 1, AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar was reported as saying that budget carriers would still be based at LCCT even after May 9, citing independent consulting firm, Ikram Premier Consulting’s findings that showed depressions on the new airport’s apron and runway.
On the same day, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said it would summon executives from the budget carrier to testify in an on-going inquiry into the new airport.
Committee chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the changes to the new airport’s design — responsible for the delays and cost overruns — were made to suit the demands of the budget carrier, which is among the low-cost terminal’s biggest stakeholders.
On April 2, AirAsia sought the intervention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the new KLIA2 low-cost airport, which it said was a matter of national importance.