KUALA LUMPUR – PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli should admit the error of his comparisons between the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit with projects in other countries, said Barisan Nasional’s strategic communications team.

In a statement today, it said that Rafizi was still trying to defend his earlier claims against the MRT project when the team has controverted this previously.

Last week, Rafizi claimed that the Seoul Line 9 MRT project is cheaper than the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line based on its cost per kilometre, which the BN team later refuted.

It said Rafizi was now trying to support this claim by saying the line Seoul MRT should be considered thrice its actual length due to the fact that it is an underground project while the SBK line was above ground.

“He then claimed that the Seoul Line 9 is completely underground although it is not. For example, the Gaehwa station to the airport connection is above ground,” it said in a statement.

“In fact, Line 9, being the 9th line of Seoul’s expansive MRT system, has multiple shared stations with other lines which further reduces cost of the Line 9 project,” it added.

Rafizi had claimed that the SBK project was 2.5 times more expensive that the Seoul Line 9 MRT project.

“He also ignored the fact that tunneling costs varies greatly based on geology. For example, the Seoul line 9 runs along the south banks of the Han River where the majority of the tunneling is through soft compacted soft sand as opposed to the hard granite and limestone formations of Kuala Lumpur,” it said.

“Certainly, tunneling through soft sand is less expensive and quicker. There are also economies of scale considerations as multiple shorter underground tunnels would cost more on a per km basis as compared to a much longer uninterrupted tunnel project,” it added.

Rafizi had initially claimed that the Seoul line cost US$43 million per kilometre compared to his estimated cost of US$103 million per kilometre for the SBK project.

However, BN previously said that the Seoul project actually cost US$152 million per kilometre.

However, Rafizi yesterday claimed that the Seoul line should be considered as thrice its actual length due to a “normalisation” calculation owing to its underground structure.

“Rafizi has repeatedly misled the public with false claims in order to incite the public to hate the government,” it said.

“We again call on Rafizi to stop embarrassing himself any further after being repeatedly exposed and admit his failure and deceit,” it added.