For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Documents about the tenders for the construction of the superstructure of Kuala Lumpur railway station from the National Archives of Malaysia. Transcribed by Claire Grey.

Letter from the General Manager of the F.M.S. Railway, to the Federal Secretary, Federated Malay States)

G.M.R.3816/09 " 23 July 09

Superstructure of New Railway Station at Kuala Lumpur

Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 1136/09 of the 13th instant forwarding 6 tenders for the superstructure of the Kuala Lumpur Railway station.

2. I beg to enclose a schedule of these tenders from which it will be seen that the lowest tender is that of Kee Sen which is a lump sum one of $157,000/-. The next in order is that of Messrs J. A. and P.C. Russell, and amounts to $159.289.36; third on the list is that of Ang Seng amounting to $169,025.21.

3. I am unable to recommend that Kee Sen's tender be accepted, he has not filled in the schedule.

4. As regards Messrs J.A. and P.C. Russell's tender I do not feel justified in recommending acceptance of their tender. Mr P.C. Russell who is the one who would have charge of the work (Mr J.A. Russell being purely the financial partner) is in my opinion too young and inexperienced in this particular class of work to carry out such an important contract.

5.The only one amongst the tenderers that I can recommend is Ang Seng. His work and command of labour is well known and I consider it would be found in the long run that his was the cheapest and most satisfactory tender. However if his tender is accepted it will mean a further excess of $935,025.21 on the estimate arrived at as follows: Ang Seng's tender …9169,025,21 Contract let for foundations…15,000,00 Idents sent to crown agents for steel work…27,400,00 Expanded metal still to be ordered from Crown Agents…39,600,00 Total 251,025,21 Estimate for the Building…186,000,00 Total 65,025,21 Excess sanctioned by His Excellency the High commissioner (R.G.O. 2160/00 of 14. 5.09)…40.000.00 Amount in excess now required… 935.025.21 and it is for the Government to say whether they are prepared to sanction this additional amount I trust they will and so allow a start to be made to this important work with as little further delay as possible.

7. I beg to return the tenders for the Resident General’s information. I have the honour to be sir your obedient servant. Ag: General Manager, FMS Rlys.”

Document in the National Archives of Malaysia 1196/09

From the Resident General to His Excellency The High Commissioner of the FMS, Singapore.

No 1126/1909 5th August 1909

Subject Tenders for the construction of the superstructure of the New Railway Station, Kuala Lumpur.

Sir I have the honour to submit for Your Excellency’s consideration a copy of a letter from the General Manager, Federated Malay States Railways, forwarding three tenders for the construction of the superstructure of the new railway Station, Kuala Lumpur.

2. This is the second occasion on which tenders for this work have been called: on the first occasion Sir Arthur Young approved of an addition of $40.000 to the estimate to enable the lowest tender to be accepted. Mr. Nicholas, the successful tenderer declined to carry out his contract, and it became necessary to call for fresh tenders, with the present result.

3. The lowest, that of Kee Sen, I am unable to recommend: little is known of this man, except that he was, until recently, a headman on the Java Street Bridge works- he made no attempt to see the plans or specifications, and his tender according to his own statement, is only a lump sum suggested by a friend.

4. The next tender is that of Messrs J.A. and P.C. Russell of $159,289.36. So far as the financing of the contract is concerned I am satisfied that Mr J.A. Russell (who is the financial partner) is able to carry out that part of the undertaking. The control of the work will be in the hands of the younger brother Mr. P.C. Russell. This gentleman came to Singapore some 2 years ago, having served his time with a well known firm of contractors in Malta- he is now in charge of all of Loke Yew's building operations and is also the local representative of Messrs Swan and Maclaren Singapore.

5. He has not up to the present undertaken any public work of importance, and while I hear him generally spoken of as a man of considerable ability, I must confess to some misgiving whether his knowledge and experience is sufficient to enable him to carry to a successful issue a contract of this importance and magnitude.

6. The third tender is that of Ang Seng. $169,025.21 or $10.000 more than that of Messrs Russell. This contractor was one of the tenderers on the first occasion, when his tender was some $24,000 in excess of the sum now offered; he has done a great deal of satisfactory work for the Railway Department, and may be relied on to carry out the present contract successfully.

7. Whichever tender it is decided to accept there will be an excess over the sanctioned estimate; the original sum approved by your Excellency was $186,000, which was further extended by $40.000 sanctioned by Sir Arthur Young in Your Excellency’s office correspondence R.G.O.513/09. A further sum now required will be in case of No.2 being accepted, $15,289.36 while if No. 3 is approved, the amount necessary will be $25,025.21

8. As stated in my letter 2160/09 of the 8th May (to which R.G.513/09 is the reply) it is anticipated that there will be savings amounting to $35,000 in connection with materials ordered from Crown agents, and under the circumstances I venture to ask Your Excellency to approve of a further sum of $15,300 to enable the contract of Messrs J.A. and P.C. Russell to be accepted.

I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient servant. Signed for Resident General

Document in the National Archives of Malaysia 1126/09

Note. From the High Commissioners Office 11th August 1909 John Anderson HC, F.M.S. to the Resident General.

Sir, In reply to your letter of 5th August. No 1126/1909 of the 15th August,

I have the honour to approve of the acceptance of the tender of Messrs. J.A. and P.C. Russell for the construction of the superstructure of the new Railway Station at Kuala Lumpur, and of the necessary supplementary provision of $15,000.

Document in the National Archives of Malaysia 962/09

Federated Malay States Railways Schedule for tenders

FOR Re- Construction of Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Superstructure of the Station etc.

Kee Sen


27 months from date of acceptance of tender

J.A Russell
Philip C. Russell


27 months form date of acceptance of tender

Ang Sen


2 years from date of acceptance of tender

G.D. Salter


3 years from date of acceptance of tender

Ng Ah Hoang


28 months from date of acceptance of tender.

Howarth Erskine



Document in the National Archives of Malaysia