KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 101 projects awarded through direct negotiations worth RM6.61 billion were approved during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz in a statement said the Transport Ministry topped the list with RM4.47 billion for a total of four projects. The ministry was previously helmed by DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.
The list is followed by the Defence Ministry (six projects) worth RM900.86 million, Home Ministry (eight projects) worth RM 517.68 million and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry with 12 projects worth RM380.1 million.
Tengku Zafrul said direct negotiations could be approved by fulfilling one or more conditions under Section 6 (1) of the Financial Procedure Act 1957 (Revised 1972) and related treasury circulars. They are:
“The procurement of supplies and services based on their urgent needs, and if the procurement is not implemented immediately, it can be detrimental and would affect the services and interests of the country.
“The need for standardisation to ensure compatibility between the existing goods with the new obtained goods; the availability of one source of supply or service where the production of products or provision of services can only be supplied from one source.
“The procurement of items or services for the sake of national security or strategic interests; or a contract with a Bumiputera manufacturer that meets all eligibility requirements.”
He explained that the process involved applications from other ministries to the Finance Ministry.
Tengku Zafrul revealed the list in response to a query by several lawmakers including his predecessor Lim Guan Eng, who challenged him to do so in Parliament on Monday (Aug 24).
On Monday, Tengku Zafrul during his winding-up speech in the Temporary Measures For Government Financing [Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)] bill 2020 debate in Parliament caused an uproar from both sides of the political divide when he revealed that PH government had awarded 101 projects through direct-negotiations amounting to RM6.61 billion.
Lim who is also the DAP secretary-general asked Tengku Zafrul to provide the list of the 101 projects, stressing that the projects were not open tenders and were approved after meeting certain conditions.
Earlier today in Parliament, PH also called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate all direct negotiation projects awarded under the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
PH stated that since the anti-graft agency was already investigating such projects awarded during PH’s 22-month tenure in Putrajaya, the same should be done to projects awarded during BN’s 61-year-rule.
Lim said this was necessary to prove that MACC did not practice double standards.
Yesterday, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a statement also challenged the Finance Minister to expose the list of projects awarded via direct negotiations and to name those who got the approval regardless of who they are.
Dr Mahathir said the matter was of public interest and the move would ensure that the principles of transparency were upheld.–NST