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Masing: OPUS’ appointment as PMC not to replace JKR S’wak’s responsibility
Posted on : 08 May 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Masing: OPUS’ appointment as PMC not to replace JKR S’wak’s responsibility

By Samuel Aubrey on May 8, 2019, Wednesday at 4:55 PM News, Sarawak

Masing (second right) shows the text of his winding up speech, as Assistant Minister of Youth and Sport Datuk Snowdan Lawan (first right) and others look on.

THE appointment of OPUS Consultants Sdn Bhd as the Project Management Consultant (PMC) by the Sarawak government on February 28, this year was not to replace the responsibility and the day-to-day management of the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road projects from Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing said the integration of the PMC into JKR Sarawak as a Hybrid PMC model serves to enhance the capacity of JKR Sarawak by extending the current technical capacities and capabilities.

He explained that by doing so, it enables JKR Sarawak to have a close day-to-day involvement managing the project starting from Design to Tender Preparation, Estimates and Tender Evaluation, Post Contract and Construction Management.

“Capacity leveraging via PMC will greatly facilitate the smooth implementation of the Coastal Road Network and the Second Trunk Road projects in view of the tight time frame for project delivery, which is within five years,” he said in his winding up speech for Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Communication.

He pointed out that JKR Sarawak is leveraging on the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for the Pan Borneo Highway Project, whereby there be a cost penalty on the PDP should the project be delayed beyond the agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on time and cost.

“Similarly, in consideration of their complexities and the technical challenges especially with the construction of major bridges as well as extensive peat soil conditions of the Coastal Road Network and the Second Trunk Road projects, JKR Sarawak had also looked into capacity leveraging via Project Management Consultant (PMC),” he said.

He added OPUS is 100 per cent wholly owned by UEM Edgenta Berhad. UEM Edgenta Berhad is 69.14 per cent owned by UEM group which is 100 per cent subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad which again is wholly owned by the federal Ministry of Finance.

He also said OPUS is a leading multi-disciplinary consultancy firm with over two decades of experience and to date, OPUS has gained extensive experience in providing engineering design and supervision consultancy services for some of Malaysia’s most impressive infrastructure and built-environment projects, including expressways and highways, airports and railways and also urban utilities.

“The State Cost Committee approved the appointment of OPUS as PMC with the following pertinent points: (a) Partnership and integration with local consultants (such as Concept-P Jurutera Sdn Bhd, Perunding Iriz and Konsultant Timur) in order to develop local Sarawak professional workforce. There are also active participation by other local consultants as the design consultants for the projects. JKR Sarawak is expecting to appoint a total of around 30 local consultants and the design fee amounting to about RM300 million.

“(b) The number of professional and semi-professional staff involved in the project must consist of at least 51 per cent Sarawakians; and (c) A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JKR Sarawak’s Research
Centre on pavement enhancement, to develop solutions for a better, more durable, recycle-able and economical pavement for the future of Sarawak’s infrastructure,” he said.

He also said the PMC model also allows for the flexibility of expansion and reduction of project team size based on requirements throughout project phases, which optimises the need for professional human capital while reducing the burden of overhead cost.

It is also to allow knowledge transfer of project management skills and best practices for development of JKR Sarawak’s workforce, collaboration with local universities to provide Graduate Learning and Development Programme, and reduction of personnel requirement.

He added that for Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road projects, the estimated personnel required throughout the entire phase of the project, by means of capacity expansion of JKR Sarawak through PMC is around 200 personnel.

“For the information of this august House, the coastal road network projects are proceeding within the targeted timeline with four projects which have already been awarded with an expected cost of about RM600 million below estimated project cost.

“Over the years and under the current development agenda, we are witnessing rapid infrastructure development particularly on the implementation of Rakyat-centric projects in the rural areas,” he said.

DAP lawmaker Violet Yong had few days earlier brought up the issue of OPUS involvement, claiming that RM50 million payable to OPUS is only the initial package for the entire project management consultant (PMC) fee estimated at between RM165 million and RM198 million.

Yong (DAP-Pending) had said that she was not saying that the Sarawak government cannot spend money on PMC but questioned the need for a PMC.

“Is the appointment of Opus justifiable? We have full-fledged JKR Sarawak which is more than capable of doing the job, why engage a Peninsula-based company?

“Are you saying that JKR Sarawak cannot function and is not capable of doing the job that a Peninsula consultant company has to be appointed for the projects?” she had asked