Malaysians have to thank the Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz for highlighting the issue of direct negotiation contracts although his intention was not so noble as it was primarily a mean political power play in Parliament aimed at the Pakatan Harapan government to suggest that it was lacking in integrity in the conduct of financial affairs.
But Tengku Zafrul’s ham-fisted strategy has returned to bite him and the Perikatan Nasional government and scoring his own goal as the list of 101 projects given through direct negotiations worth RM6.61 billion released by him had become the most powerful testimony that the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, whatever its mistakes or shortcomings, was better than both the previous Barisan Nasional government and the present “backdoor” Perikatan Nasional government.
If Tengku Zafrul is sincere, honest and upright, he would have praised the Pakatan Harapan government for saving the country RM790 million in Phase 2 of Klang Valley double-tracking project by paring the RM5.265 billion contract signed by the Barisan Nasional government a day before Parliament was dissolved in March 2018 to RM4.475 billion.
Can Tengku Zafrul give a single instance where the Perikatan Nasional government and the Finance Ministry under him had saved the country RM790 million in reviewing the contracts signed by the Pakatan Harapan government?
Instead of casting aspersions about the lack of integrity of the Pakatan Harapan government in managing the financial affairs of the country, Tengku Zafrul should be praising the Pakatan Harapan government.
Is Tengku Zafrul prepared to release the list of contracts awarded by direct negotiations which he had approved in the past six months since the formation of the “backdoor” Perikatan Harapan government to show that there is nothing to hide?
If he has no hesitation in releasing the list of contracts reached by direct negotiations by the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, why is he so shy in releasing the list of contracts reached by direct negotiations under the Perikatan Nasional Government as well as the contracts where direct negotiations are taking place?
Former Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, has pointed out that the Pakatan Harapan government was only responsible for 5.3 percent of the directly awarded contracts worth RM6.6 billion revealed by Tengku Zafrul, as most of the RM6.61 billion went to legacy projects (67.7 percent) and contracts for supplies or services (26.5 percent) taken on during the BN administration.
The Pakatan Harapan government was only responsible for a fraction (0.07 percent) of the directly awarded contracts during its 22 months in power, which were mostly due to reasons that could not be avoided.
The Minister for International Trade and Industry, Darel Leiking and his Assistant Minister, Ong Kian Ming, have pointed out in their joint statement that four projects, which cost RM8.18 million or 79 percent of the RM10.4 million of the direct negotiations projects attributed to Miti, took place under the Barisan Nasional government in the three months before GE14. These were Young CEO Summit 2018, Himpunan Usahawan Bumiputera, Jom Niaga Wilayah Utara and MINI SDSI (Satu Daerah Satu Industri).
Is Tengku Zafrul prepared to admit publicly that he had been misinformed?
Guan Eng has also alleged that based on the list of 101 contracts, four key Bersatu figures were involved in government contracts that were awarded without open tender when they were part of the Pakatan Harapan administration, viz. the present Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when he was the Home Minister under the Pakatan Harapan government; the International Trade and Industries Minister Azmin Ali, who was the economic affairs minister at the time; the Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and the Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun.
Will Tengku Zafrul hold a joint press conference with these four Ministers to put across their side of the story?
Be that as it may, the time has come for a Royal Commission to be formed to investigate into all the direct negotiation contracts in the past 10 years from 2010 to 2020 covering all three Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional governments.
Will Tengku Zafrul spearhead in Cabinet today the call for a RCI to investigate into all direct negotiation contracts in the past 10 years covering all the BN, PH and PN governments and to ensure that such an announcement on the establishment of a RCI is publicly made by National Day on August 31?
Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 28th August 2020