Minister of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan should fulfil his promise made in Parliament to disclose the full tender documents for the proposed Taman Beringin Waste-to-Energy Plant

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 15th of July, 2014

Minister of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan recently tweeted that the proposed Waste-to-Energy plant in Taman Beringin, Kepong, will be built on a Private Finance Initiative basis with the construction costs being borne by the successful tenderer. The government only has to pay the tipping fee per tonne and not the capital expenditure for the proposed plant.[1]

If this is the case, it is crucial for the Minister to disclose the expected tipping fee per tonne at this Waste-to-Energy plant so that this can be compared to the current tipping fee per tonne that is being paid by DBKL, estimated at RM84 (including costs of transportation) by the director of the National Waste Management Department, Dato Dr. Nadzri Yahaya. If the expected tipping fee is significantly higher than the current tipping fee, it would be the residents of Kuala Lumpur who would have to pay a far higher assessment rate.

I would like to remind the Minister that the operational cost per tonne for the incinerators in Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Langkawi and Cameron Highlands all exceed RM200 with the highest being RM363 per tonne in Cameron Highlands.[2] If the capital costs for these incinerators are included, then the cost per tonne would be significantly higher than RM200.

All this information, including the expected tipping fee, are contained in the tender documents (or Request for Proposal / RfP) for the proposed Waste-to-Energy plant. The Director of the Public Private Partnership Unit or UKAS tweeted me on the 7th of July saying that “the RFP is scheduled to be issued on the 3rd week of July 2014”. When I asked the director through twitter on whether this RFP would be published on the website of UKAS, he did not give me an answer.

I want to remind the Minister of his parliamentary reply on the 26th of November, 2013, during the budget debate where he said – “So, once we – tender ini adalah tender antarabangsa, tender terbuka antarabangsa yang akan diiklankan dan akan pamerkan segala data Yang Berhormat hendakkan. You know Yang Berhormat, kita tidak mahu seperti mana yang saya katakan, kita mahu yang terbaik untuk rakyat dan penduduk Kuala Lumpur.” (pg. 176, DR26112013)

So far, the Minister has not promised me in our lengthy twitter exchanges that the tender or RFP documents would be made public. I call upon the Minister to keep to his promise made in Parliament that the tender documents will be made public and that the identity of the bidders for this Waste-to-Energy plant will also be made public. The failure to do so would mean that the Minister has broken his promise and that he or his Ministry has something to hide from the public.