Forest replanting project in Perak not awarded through open tender, admits MB

Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu. (File pic)

IPOH: The company tasked with the 400ha forest plantation development project at two different locations in Perak did not get the job through an open tender, admits Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

Instead, he said the company was chosen by the Forestry Committee task force, which he chairs.

He said the committee members included the director and deputy director of the state Forestry Department as well as the state Islamic Religion and Education, Rural and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Asmuni Awi.

State Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs and New Villages Committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong is also part of the committee, he said.

“The company’s directors have vast experience in managing forest plantations.

“So, there were strong grounds for us to approve (the project),” he told a press conference.

Faizal was responding to Perak Umno chief Saarani Mohamad who had questioned the approval given for forest plantation development projects at the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve and Bukit Kinta Manjung Forest Reserve.

He also explained that the projects being carried out at the two locations did not involve the felling of trees but replanting.

On Kampar MP Thomas Su Keong Siong’s move to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Monday regarding the approval given, Faizal said: “Fantastic. What he has done is for the MACC to investigate.”

He said the DAP MP’s action did not go against the spirit of Pakatan Harapan and that Su had actually referred the matter to him first before lodging the report.