Defence Ministry’s RM900m direct negotiation deals under Pakatan govt all involved existing aircraft maintenance

A Royal Malaysia Air Force C-130 takes off from RAAF base Pearce in this file picture taken on April 3, 2014. — Reuters pic
A Royal Malaysia Air Force C-130 takes off from RAAF base Pearce in this file picture taken on April 3, 2014. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) awarded RM900.86 million-worth of contracts through direct negotiations under the Pakatan Harapan administration, all of which involving aircraft maintenance.

All but one of the six projects were awarded to Subang Airport-based aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider Airod Sdn Bhd.

These included long-term contract for maintaining government’s official aircrafts, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircrafts, and Sikorsky 61A-4 helicopters also called Nuri.

The other project was awarded to Spain-based Airbus Military Sociedad Limitada, to provide in-service support for the RMAFs Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.

Earlier today, the Ministry of Finance released the full list of 101 projects that were awarded through direct negotiations under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, following calls to do so by the latter.

The Ministry of Transport led with RM4.48 billion worth of deals, the bulk of which was the RM4.47 billion Klang Valley double-tracking project that was revived from Barisan Nasional administration, with significant savings.

This was followed by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs (RM517.68 million).

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission confirmed earlier this week that it will be looking into the direct negotiation contracts for possible corruption, embezzlement or abuse of power after several NGOs had filed complaints with it.

Uproar over the direct negotiation contracts began in the Dewan Rakyat when Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz affirmed during his wind-up of the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Covid-19) 2020 that the PH administration had approved a certain number of government projects despite pushing for open tender contracts during its short-lived rule.

However, Tengku Zafrul also explained in Parliament that the approved projects had followed regulations that allowed for exemptions.

This caused PH MPs to demand Tengku Zafrul to release his list of the 101 projects to back his claim.

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