Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Front Page News Report by The Star on 2nd July 2013

I was driving to Penang this morning when I was alerted to another article published by The Star today about KLIA2.

The news captioned title: "New deadline another flight of fancy?"

I pondered and many asked me the same... I answered: 'Do you know what you are asking?'

Let me try to answer this question posed:

(1) The KLIA2 Project is a Program consisting of many projects - Main Terminal Building and Satellite Building & Associated Works by UEMC-Bina Puri JV,

(2) Runway & Taxiway by KUB Builders;

(3) Gateway@klia2 building by WCT;

Other packages include Control Tower, Earthworks, AGL Systems, etc, etc.

UEMC-Bina Puri's contract is about RM997 million only. The total airport cost as reported by MAHB is about RM4 billion. So, do not talk as if this project is only RM1 billion or as if it is UEMC-Bina Puri project.

To commission this project we need all contractors to complete their works, including those who are not appointed yet (if any, and I think there are ... ask Uncle Jamilus and he can tell you)

I was asked by Don Khaza: 'What is your opinion of the delay to this project?'

I asked back: 'Do you want the truth or half-truth?'

Of course he wanted to know the TRUTH ... (i wonder...)

Ok, Let me tell you what I said, which he is now pondering whether I said the half-truth:

My opinion - there are many reasons which was never contemplated by those managing the project, including MAHB and UEMC and also Bina Puri (and I don't think they do at all)

(1) The Main Terminal Building & Satellite Building Package was tendered as a LCCT - i.e. Low Cost Carrier Terminal Buildings and the potential contractor must "Design-and-Build" (D&B) this LCCT based on the Need Statement, Employer's Requirement & Concept Drawings issued by MAHB and complete the project within 20 months (Date of Commencement: 16 Aug. 2010 and Date for Completion: 15 April 2012). So, in such a fast-track type of project, there are some fundamentals that must be adhered strictly if it is to be successfully completed within the time period awarded:

(a) The design by the Contractor's Consultants must be done and approved within 6 months and the such design submission & approval must be frozen within that short period,(i.e. no more changes); however, massive alterations, additions, modifications and substitutions took place since 2010 and up till the month of May 2013 we still have substantial design modification, alteration, substitution and addition.

(b) The designs were to be carried out by consultants appointed by the Contractor and the Concept Design Consultants (CDC) employed by MAHB were to be merely Design Checker/Auditor - but they performed their duties over and above that they were contracted to do (we called "Bo Derek-ers" or "Bo 10"); their duties were only to audit & check the engineering & architectural designs submitted by the D&B Contractor to ensure that the relevant standards and codes are adhered, i.e. compliance to the Need Statement and Employer's Requirement (as stated in the Contract) but they do more than their scope - they impose their discretion and preferences with regards to the type and brand of products and specifications, their choice of project site personnel (they ordered the Contractor to remove qualified staff for esoteric reasons), they challenge the Contrator's Design and Contractor's Design Consultants' design standards, etc, etc. Rightly or wrongly, the CDC should have been the Design Consultant if you observed the phenomena ... that would have speeded up the works!!!

(c) The Contractor was given a Concept Design (produced by CDC) by MAHB together with the Need Statement and Employer's Requirement (ER) documents during the tender. Thereafter, the Contractor is suppose to engage their own design consultants to present their design for approval which was supposed to be "Design that complies to the AITA, NACO & ICAO Standards for LCCT Airport. However, during the tender negotiation stage, the CDC and MAHB were overzealous to conduct "Value Engineering" (VE) exercise by resizing and downsizing and modifying the tender submissions made by the Contractors (who had priced it in accordance with the Concept Design). Finally, UEMC-BP JV were awarded the project (tho' they tendered as separate entity and due to MAHB innovative idea, UEM married Bina Puri contractually). What the CDC did not know at that point in time when doing the VE exercise was that they had downsized or "right-sized the scope of works that runs contrary to AITA, NACO & ICAO Standards (ANI). So, when the Contractor was asked to submit an audit report based on the ANI Standards, the discrepancies were exposed and had to be rectified subtly, and must be subtle ... ; (Another puzzle: how could a VE exercise be carried out during the conceptual stage where there were no design drawings? What was VE-ed were the contents and elements that constitute a complete LCCT as envisaged during the concept stage. Once the VE-ed concept was awarded, the CDC continue to insist on the original Need Statement & ER which was modified & addressed in the Tender Clarification documents - that the ER had been VE-ed (reduced/modified/omitted/changed/excluded); so how would you get the contemplated airport that was VE-ed? Added to the puzzle is that this LCCT has now an automatic baggage system and link bridges that was not what LCCT is about - so we got "low cost apartments that resembles condominium facilities"; however, thereafter, the contractors would have to start managing and/or massaging the variation orders to recoup the cost overrun)

(d) Interestingly, (not many knows this, including Pua Chu Kang's cousin, Tony P, Uncle Bashir and Don Khaza too; oh, general Hamid &  commander Zai knows!), works which were excluded from the original contracts as awarded to UEMC-BP JV and were suppose to be "Future Development" works were added (example: Airside Terminal Hotel, we call it ATH Hotel, and various others, such as retail outlets, I.D. works, etc);

(e) More interesting facts: The buildings, i.e. Main terminal and Satellite Buildings including the State-of-the-Art steel link bridge, were to be constructed on a piece of land called "Mangroove Swamp" that was rehabilitated a year before the award and during the month of August 2010, where UEMC-BP JV was to start work, on "Fast-Tracking Processes", the land was still under "Surcharge" and the surcharge was yet to be removed. Consolidation of the soil, which is "Marine Clay" had yet to achieve the "shear force" value as indicated in the tender document. And the contractor has to start excavation and piling works on a soil condition that had yet to achieve the required consolidation ... what a great engineering!!! Did Uncle Bashir knows this? Don Khaza was shock when he heard this (luckily he didn't faint or suffer heart attack.)

(f) I can't find enough space to write more phenomena; maybe, I will write a book entitled "The Success & Failure Factors of KLIA2" and dedicate this book to Uncle Henry (luckily he doesn't know me ... hope so!!!)


What may be unknown to Don Khaza and Uncle Bashir is that, volumes of documents, facts sheet, evidences, photographs and forensic engineering reports were being compiled and stored in strong room awaiting to be commission if MAHB decides to go ahead with the LAD - we will get Desert Storm 2 reactivated! The artillery and ammunition are procured, subtly, in the bunkers; awaiting to be unleashed!

And lastly, we have the Law of Tort to deal with professional negligence... the QCs are waiting to jump into the bandwagons and get fees in millions!!!

Wait for PART 3 ...


Anonymous said...

Please compile these info. Good for future read and also the other contractors involved.


Anonymous said...

1) I guest you are very emotional in writing this. From 16 August 2010 to 15 June 2013 is more than 33 months (almost 3 years) instead of 20 months as you stated.

2)Dato Azmi acknowledge the changes for immigration counters may take 2-4 weeks i.e. from June 15 2013 to July 15 2013 (if consider 4 weeks. What you fail to say here is his remaining sentence "but does not justify for 1 year EoT ie 30 April 2014. The contractor when receive the instruction on 29th May suppose to give notice to MAHB for EOT and claim for cost etc. But if the contractor did not submit the time impact etc the client cannot grant the EoT. This has been the problem with the contractor very slow in paper work.

3)The VE was done before the award and the contract awarded has already indicated what type of terminal, specification etc its suppose to be. You cant say from "low cost terminal" to High cost terminal. THe terminal is not low cost but it is for low cost airlines. DOes it mean low cost terminal have no aircondition, no seating etc. The passenger may want to travel using low cost airline but they want comfortable terminal for waiting etc. SO to say the "low cost terminal" is really deceiving the public and this terminal is awarded since day 1 to UemBP no change in specification by CDC as u claim.

4)Operation from Runway 2: Its very clearly stated there MAHB hv the option to operate using Runway 2 even if the Runway 3 is not ready. He is not talking about operating from Runway 3 but he is talking about operating using Runway 2 which was completed during KLIA1 time.

5) I just take these 4 examples that you didn't get your facts right then how can we take what you have written is reliable.

6) FInally, I think as professional we just let the contract people deal with this.