A-G’s report: River of Life project is eight years late, cost govt nearly RM4b

  • The Auditor-General’s report today revealed that the River of Life project was supposed to be completed this year, but is nowhere near its completion.
  • The project has used up RM3.915 billion, making up 89.7 per cent of its ceiling cost.
  • As of July last year, eight projects were still in the execution stage.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Despite the government’s expenditure of RM3.915 billion on the River of Life project, surpassing its original 2020 deadline and a subsequent four-year extension, the Auditor General’s Report 2/2024 today disclosed that it is nowhere near completion.

The report revealed that as of July last year, eight projects were still under implementation, showing progress rates ranging from 21 to 97.3 per cent.

It added that contractors for two projects, whose contracts had expired, had yet to be appointed for completion, while 12 projects remained in the pre-execution phase.

“The audit analysis revealed that only 79.4 per cent of the river beautification works were completed, and only 50 (16.9 per cent) out of 296 sewage treatment plants were successfully rationalised or upgraded.

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“An analysis of the project duration indicates an eight-year delay in completion, resulting in increased costs to the government,” the report read.

The eight-year delay referred to three sewerage projects that have not been completed but have been approved by the extension of time from 2,098 days up to 2,938 days, the report said.

Currently, the project has used up 89.7 per cent of its RM4.363 billion ceiling cost.

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Other findings include:

  • Putrajaya paid RM19.10 million for the preparation of five designs but it was not used in the end because of a change in the decision on the method of project implementation.
  • Weakness in consultation during the preparation of the pump cost the government RM1.29 million and resulted in the project’s completion delay of up to 1,803 days.
  • Civil and general engineering consultants were appointed while the scope of the contract involved between 45 per cent and 65 per cent of mechanical and electrical components.
  • 147 (17.6 per cent) river cleaning assets are currently not operating because they were damaged or have been demolished or cannot be used.
  • Up to December 31, 2022, a total of RM310.92 million in development allocations channelled to DBKL, MPS and MPAJ were yet to be used.

The report linked the flaws of the project to its business model as it also caused the project’s maintenance and activities to depend on government allocations and had caused the project’s assets not to be properly maintained, abandoned, damaged and not fully utilised.

Consequently, all of the project’s objectives have not been achieved including increasing the quality of fresh water to class IIB along the project area spanning 110km due to flaws in planning, and execution, among others.

The project was also meant to beautify the 10.7km corridor of Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak, but only 8.5 km has been covered.

The project memorandum set on November 4, 2010, for the project to begin and to be completed by 2020 aimed to clean rivers around Klang Valley, beautify the rivers, and develop the land surrounding it.

It projected returns amounting to RM4 billion from developing the land surrounding the area but as of now, only seven out of 59 parcels of land have been sold or disposed, and from that number, only one has been developed completely.

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