Sarawak UiTM concessionaire given highway contracts too, Rafizi claims
SUNGAI BESI, June 25 — The Umno-linked firm awarded the dubious build-and-rent contract for University Teknologi Mara’s Kota Samarahan campus in Sarawak is also the recipient of a highway concession, PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli alleged today.
The concessionaire, Rafulin Holdings Sdn Bhd, was said to be part of the Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor Expressway Bhd (Latar) consortium, which was awarded a 40-year concession to build the 33km Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor (Latar) highway via direct negotiation.
“While I do not question the freedom for businessmen like Datuk Mohamed Raffe to conduct their businesses, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration is using the ‘private finance initiatives’ policy to mask direct negotiations (of contracts),” Rafizi told reporters here.
Datuk Mohamed Raffe, together with his wife Datin Nilufar Shahrom, are the directors of Rafulin Holdings Bhd.
The Pandan MP further claimed that Rafulin Holdings Bhd has no construction experience and had instead outsourced the projects to Binapuri Holdings Bhd, a non-Bumiputera company listed in the Kuala Lumpur Bourse.
“They always say we the opposition are out to destroy the Malays when we question how they get their businesses but yet they are subcontracting projects to non-Bumi contractors,” he said.
The projects were also financed through a loan from the Federal Development Bank Bhd, he said, adding that this is akin to Putrajaya building the campus itself.
But in this case, Rafizi noted, the concessionaire would stand to benefit from being the “middle-man”.
“The project is actually financed by the federal government itself.
“If the campuses were built by the government itself without being privatised, the federal government could have easily borrowed from the Development Bank (to build the campuses) while keeping the burden on taxpayers money low,” he said.
Rafizi said his latest expose demonstrates how easy it is to abuse Malay and Bumiputera rights to enrich Umno cronies.
The PKR lawmaker previously named several Umno figures as the crony recipients of lucrative contracts to build and rent six UiTM campuses nationwide.
The names include Datuk Shahrir Abdul Jalil, who is the brother of former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries deputy Minister Datuk Tajuddin Rahman, Syabas CEO Tan Sri Rozali Ismail and several other former Umno state lawmakers.
The Pandan MP had accused Putrajaya of intentionally privatising the construction of six UiTM campuses nationwide to allow Umno-linked firms to rake in RM8.6 billion of public funds.
He said the move meant the government must pay RM375 million in rent annually for 23 years, according to concession agreements revealed in a parliamentary reply by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on April 10 this year.
Rafizi alleged the six concessionaires have ties to Umno, the leading party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
Putrajaya has yet to reply to the allegations.