SHAH ALAM: In an earlier posting entitled Another Helicopter Tender, Malaysian Defence wrote about a tender for four helicopters for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency – Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritime Malaysia (MMEA/APMM). The tender was published in June last year and was supposed to close in July but it was later extended to August 19. More importantly, the validity of the tender was supposed to end on January 15 and today is already February 1.
Checks with industry sources indicated no decision has been made. I am guessing here but it is likely that they will have to re-tender the procurement process with a new validity date. In the earlier post, I guessed that the Home Ministry tender board will not have enough time to decide and get it endorsed from the minister due to the political changes brought about by the general election.
It may be one of the reasons that the tender failed to find the winning bid. There is also another reason, all the bids were much higher than the reserved allocation. I have no inkling of the allocation for the four helicopters, but it is unlikely more than RM450 million. Why? Because of the list price of the helicopters being sought even with public security equipment – FLIR turret, NVG compatible cockpit and winching gear – should not be more than RM450 million. This include the Leonardo AW189 and the Sikorsky S-92. The Airbus H175 is much cheaper than both helicopters while the bigger H215 is just slightly more expensive the former.
Out of the seven bids for the tender, the cheapest was RM486 million while the highest was RM770 million. I am guessing two of the bids – the lowest and the second lowest (RM488 million) was from the same people with two companies and the same type of helicopter. Another group representing another helicopter, bid with three different companies (RM529 million; RM559 million and RM590 million). While another company offering another type, bid with two entries (RM755 million and the highest bid, see above).
Even the cheapest bid meant that the helicopters would cost some RM121 million each which is meant that the ministry cannot go ahead with the procurement. This the reason I have stated that with even open tenders, our security services will not get the right equipment and especially numbers to do their job properly. It is likely we can get better prices if we open the tenders to OEM. Since we tend not to buy the maintenance package, reserved them for local industry players, if indeed we want to allow the industry to grow instead of helping out marketing agents.
Hopefully, the special one will be able to see this as well and make the necessary changes to our procurement rules.
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