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KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof today acknowledged that there may still be loopholes in the award of public projects through the open tender system and award process, but gave an assurance that his ministry is actively taking steps to prevent abuses, especially by “cartels”.
Among them is requiring bidders to pay a RM500,000 bond upfront.
“This is to ensure that only the serious players are going through the process. While I can’t guarantee that this will remove abuse entirely, this is part of our effort to shrink the space of manipulation within the tender process.
“So for cartels, which usually have a lot of people, coming up with that amount of money is a considerable challenge,” Fadillah who is in charge of the Works Ministry told reporters after a media session.
He said his ministry regularly consults the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on how to tighten potential abuse in the tender system.
Fadillah also lauded the MACC in going after individuals in the so-called cartels, regardless of their statuses, and hauling them up for prosecution.
Yesterday, the MACC announced the arrest of seven people in a cartel that secured RM3.8 billion worth of government projects through questionable means, including a 47-year-old it believes to be the mastermind, and a senior government official.
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki disclosed that the government official was a 38-year-old quantity surveyor suspected of aiding the cartel by preparing bills of quantity (BQ) and providing information on his agency’s project to the mastermind.