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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition has proposed a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation of all directly-negotiated contracts spanning every administration from Barisan Nasional to the current Perikatan Nasional.
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng said it would be a clear case of double standards and selective action if only those from the PN administration were scrutinised.
“I have no problem with MACC’s decision to study the 101 projects worth RM6.61 billion which were approved through direct negotiation.
“But their investigation should not be used by certain quarters as an excuse to not reveal the full list of project and tenders (approved by both PH, BN and PN administrations),” Lim told reporters during a press conference at the Parliament building here today.
After Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz disclosed the matter in Parliament on Monday, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad challenged him to identify the 101 projects.
Dr Mahathir noted in a statement that the PH government had made allowances for direct negotiations when necessary, yet Zafrul implied that there was cause for suspicion simply because this method was used.
Today, Lim reiterated that PH did not expressly forbid direct negotiations but set guidelines for when it may be used, such as in matters of crisis, national disasters, national and security interests, as well as when there was only one possible vendor.
“In other words, open tender is the base procurement method, but exemptions can be given (for specific cases).
“That is why the percentage of direct negotiation worth RM6.6 billion is only 1.4 per cent out of the total government procurement approved under the PH government,” he said.
Backing Lim’s stand, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub also pointed out that RM1.4 billion of the RM6.6 billion was for a scheme to rescue the National Farmers’ Organisation (NAFAS).
DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, who was also present, said time was running out for Zafrul to disclose the full list of contracts the latter asserted in Parliament were directly awarded.
“Tomorrow will be the last for him (Zafrul) to reveal the list. It seems like PH is more interested in PN to know what the list contains.
“Don’t politicise this kind of issues as it involves government procurements,” he said.
Earlier today, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof acknowledged that his ministry was among beneficiaries of procurement contracts awarded through direct negotiations by the previous government.
However, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin rejected claims that her ministry had applied for contracts via direct negotiation.