Sabah minister to sue over JKR contract allegations

Sabah development minister Peter Anthony says his ministry has also filed a police report. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony is to sue a local news portal over allegations about contracts awarded by the Sabah public works department (JKR).

He said the ministry had lodged a police report and urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action against the portal as well.

“I am suing the portal personally as the minister, as it is accusing us of abuse of power. They also knew at ministry level, we have no authority to appoint contractors through direct negotiation, never.

“But it is possible at finance ministry level as it has long been practised since the Sabah government was set up a long time ago,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the matter here today.

He said the state government today is always open and accepts any criticism by any parties though they should be constructive and not make wild accusations.

A local portal had reported that Anthony was involved in awarding contracts worth RM1.5 billion from Sabah JKR without tender.

Anthony said the portal’s report was seen as attempting to hurl baseless allegations when his ministry was not involved in direct negotiation with any contractor in Sabah.

He said the concession mentioned by the portal was a review of one owned by a company given the contract by the previous government.

However, his ministry found the quality of work on the concession unsatisfactory, and therefore proposed the scope of work under the concession be downsized while giving opportunities to other more capable contractors to meet the standards stipulated, he said.