Reveal investigations on drug procurement, MP tells health ministry

PETALING JAYA: A DAP lawmaker has urged the health ministry to make public its investigations into the alleged control of billions of ringgit worth of medical supplies to the government.

Charles Santiago.

Speaking to FMT, Klang MP Charles Santiago said the ministry’s dismissal of an expose on the matter was unacceptable.

Health ministry secretary-general Dr Chen Chaw Min had called the expose “baseless”, adding that the ministry had investigated the matter and found that all procurement was in order and done according to the finance ministry’s guidelines.

Santiago welcomed the ministry’s response on the matter but said it shouldn’t have waited so long to do so.

“Just saying everything is above board isn’t enough,” he added.

“The ministry can’t investigate itself and expect the public to be convinced that the investigations are independent.”

Santiago said the “new Malaysia” meant transparency, and called for another investigation by a third party.

He also urged the ministry to reveal its investigation findings and let the public know who was involved.

“Otherwise, people will think there is something to hide,” said Santiago who previously lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the matter.

In a 12-page document sighted by FMT in June, it was alleged that companies linked to politicians close to the previous government controlled the supply of medicines worth billions of ringgit.

The document listed 20 companies with alleged links to prominent politicians, including ministers occupying high positions in Umno. It said these companies acted as “tendering agents” for more than 70 pharmaceutical companies and reaped rewards worth RM3.7 billion between 2013 and 2016.

The whistleblower who revealed the information now says further digging has revealed that between 2010 and last month, the top six tendering agents received 92.21% of RM6,435,975,589, which was the total value of contracts awarded in that period.