KUCHING (Aug 30): Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen is urging Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to disclose projects that were awarded by the state government through direct negotiations and without going through open tender process.
Chong, who is Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman, said it was time for the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government to disclose the list of direct negotiation projects as a way to show transparency and accountability in its government procurement.
“Does the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg dare to disclose the list of Sarawak state government procurement projects awarded through direct negotiation process?”
“What justification, if any, for the state government to award contracts through direct negotiation?” he asked in a press statement today.
Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said the federal Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had in Parliament last week attempted to discredit the former PH government by disclosing a list of 101 projects valued at RM6.61 billion awarded by the former federal government through direct negotiation process.
“As it turned out, this so-called expose has reaffirmed PH’s integrity, accountability and transparency in the government procurement process throughout the 22 months of its governance,” added Chong.
He said of the RM6.61 billion alleged to be the total value of the direct-negotiation projects of PH government, RM6.258 billion were projects that were a continuation of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, which the PH government were forced to proceed with.
“The remaining RM352 million worth of projects constitute 0.07 per cent of the total PH government’s procurement value during PH’s 22-month government, which was RM477.38 billion.”
Chong stressed that the issue had proved direct negotiation was an exception under the PH government, unlike under the BN government which direct negotiation seemed to be a norm.