Special treatment for Bumi businessmen will continue, says Mahathir

The Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association has requested the government provide a special participation quota of at least 20% per cent to Bumiputera contractors for civil works on the ECRL project.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the special treatment for bumiputera businesses, including negotiated tenders, will go on.

Asked about a request for 20% of the civil works for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) mega project to be reserved for Bumiputera contractors, Mahathir said the government had yet to decide on this.

“No, we have yet to fix a quota but they are asking that 20% should go to them.”

The Malaysian Bumiputera Contractors Association yesterday requested the Pakatan Harapan government to provide a special participation quota of at least 20% per cent to Bumiputera contractors for civil works on the ECRL project.

“I would like to explain that the old system of giving special treatment to Bumiputeras is still there. It goes on, including in negotiated tenders,” Mahathir said at a press conference after chairing the PPBM Supreme Council meeting here today.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Asked to elaborate, Mahathir said negotiated tenders would be used in special cases.

On the issue surrounding PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir’s handshake gaffe with the Johor Sultan at the wake of the late Sultan Ahmad Shah last week, Mahathir said: “It is nothing. Sometimes you miss out on some people, that doesn’t mean you boycott that person.

“You should know both the sultan and the Tunku Mahkota Johor shook my hand and I shook their hand. Don’t you want to show that?” he asked.

A video by Twitter user Friends of Johor showed Mukhriz skipping on greeting the Johor royalty lining up at the wake of the late Pahang sultan, instead going straight to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to pay obeisance.

Mukhriz subsequently apologised to the sultan, seeking forgiveness for not shaking his hand at the wake.

“The MB has told the sultan that this was due to an inadvertent mistake and oversight and that this does not reflect on the polite nature of Kedahans at large,” a statement from Mukhriz read.