KUALA LUMPUR: A day after Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Zafrul Abdul Aziz released the list of 101 projects awarded via direct negotiations worth RM6.61 billion, Lim Guan Eng came forward to explain that the value of direct-negotiation projects approved during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration was only RM352 million.
Lim, who is the former Finance Minister, said the majority of the 101 projects were not new initiatives introduced by the PH administration, but instead were inherited or continued from those approved during the era of Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
This includes the project to upgrade the infrastructure for the Phase 2 Electrified Double Track Project in the Klang Valley awarded to Dhaya Maju Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) Sdn Bhd worth RM4.475 billion, he said.
“Actually, the project was offered to the company at a price of RM5.265 billion by the BN administration through direct negotiation. After taking over the government, PH found that this price was too high and the Cabinet agreed to cancel the contract.
“However, the contractor appealed to the government and after thorough negotiation, the PH government agreed to proceed with a much lower price. This was also to avoid any court action between the company and the government, besides reducing the possibility of delays should the project undergo re-tendering process,” he told a press conference at the Parliament building here.
Lim said apart from the project, 31 out of the 101 projects totalling RM1.753 billion were also identified as projects inherited from the BN administration.
On the expenditure for the screening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup worth RM29.9 million, which captured public attention after being announced that it would not involve any cost to the government, Lim said the matter should not have been included in the list.
“Although RTM under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry paid the cost of RM29.9 million, they got the money back from the sponsors, AirAsia and Maxis. In other words, AirAsia and Maxis paid RTM, and RTM paid Sports Media & Distributor.
“Moreover, the company had held the monopoly right on the broadcasting of the World Cup in Malaysia. That was why the open tender system could not be done in this situation,” he said.
When asked whether PH would lodge a report against BN administration in regard to the direct-negotiation projects, Lim said it was up to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate. — Bernama