Monday, October 18, 2010

New palace cost: RM935 mil and counting

Source: 18/10/10

The federal government has approved an additional RM147 million for the construction of the new national palace at Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. In total, the new palace will cost RM935 million, which includes the construction or upgrading of roads leading to the palace, but excludes operational and administration costs.
In a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), the Works Ministry said the 100,000 sq metre palace complex itself will cost RM650 million. "However, this cost does not include several of the project's components which need to be be considered to complete the entire palace project. "In view of this, the government has agreed to approve an additional RM147 million allocation," said the reply.
Details about the "project's components" were not stated in the written reply. According to the works ministry, the cost of the construction of a multi-level traffic junction from Jalan Duta to the palace has dropped from RM130 million to RM106 million.
No details on operational cost
Upgrading works on Jalan Changkat Semantan, which leads to the second entrance of the palace, is maintained at a cost of RM32.5 million. The works ministry said that operations and administration costs would only be determined after the entire project is completed on June 30 next year. The government's handling of the new palace had been courting controversy in recent months, with allegations of construction workers abuse, embezzlement and cost-overruns. Previously, Deputy Works Minister Yong Khoon Seng said that total cost of the new palace stood at RM811 million, which is double the estimated RM400 million in 2006. In June, Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor denied an opposition lawmaker's accusation that an additional RM150 million had been disbursed for the palace to meet cost-overruns.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has accused the government of awarding the contract for the main palace contract to an unqualified Umno crony company.

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