Pakatan’s promise to stop direct negotiations ‘not visible’, says deputy finance minister

On Monday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had revealed that 101 projects were approved via direct negotiations during Pakatan's administration. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
On Monday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had revealed that 101 projects were approved via direct negotiations during Pakatan’s administration. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Deputy Finance Minister 1 Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri has today said that Pakatan Harapan (PH) did not live up to its manifesto promise of putting a stop to direct negotiations when awarding contracts.

Abdul Rahim said while the government allowed direct negotiations when awarding contracts, in the context of the 101 projects allegedly approved by the former PH administration, this went against the coalition’s vow to get rid of the practice.

“In my view, direct negotiations were allowed by the government, but PH had included in its manifesto that they would ensure there would be no more direct negotiations.

“And they had somewhat practised CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency), but in this issue it is not visible,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today during question-and-answer time.

Abdul Rahim was responding to PKR’s Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail who in a supplementary question had asked if the Finance Ministry would be able to publish in detail the 101 project tenders in the next 24 hours.

On Monday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz had revealed that 101 projects were approved via direct negotiations during the PH administration.

His revelation had sparked an uproar in Parliament, which resulted in DAP’s Beruas MP being booted out of the House when seeking clarification on the matter.

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has since refuted accusations of misconduct and failure to fulfil the PH’s manifesto of refusing direct negotiations, deeming the alleged 101 projects necessary and done following criteria allowed by the government.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has since said it will conduct a comprehensive study to determine whether there were elements of corruption and abuse of power in relation to the 101 projects or government procurements worth RM6.61 billion that were done through direct negotiations.

Source

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