Health minister hits at smear linking him to Covid-19 contract

The MACC is investigating a contract for Covid-19 test kits and protective gear.

PETALING JAYA: Health Minister Adham Baba has denied any links to a company named as being involved in a RM30 million contract for Covid-19 equipment which is being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

A statement issued through his office this evening said the accusation was a malicious character assassination. It said Adham had no business interests in the firm, Khazanah Jaya Sdn Bhd, and did not have any relationship with its shareholders.

Health minister Adham Baba says he was the subject of a smear campaign.

The statement added that he had never given any instructions to officers to approve the awarding of the contract to Khazanah Jaya or any other company. “All matters of procurement and acquisition by the ministry throughout the war against Covid-19 is done according to procedure, led by the ministry’s secretary-general and the responsible officers,” it said.

The statement came hours after anti-corruption watchdog group, the C4 centre, claimed that there was a connection between the contract parties and a shareholder in Adham’s company which owns a chain of private clinics in Johor.

C4 said the shareholder was on the board of another company which included two directors of Khazanah Jaya.

But the ministry statement said the claim was aimed at creating a false impression. It said the shareholder, Iskandar Miza Ahmad, had left the board of the other company on Jan 30, 2015 and the two Khazanah Jaya directors, Tan Boon Keong and Tan Jiat Jui, had only joined on his last day.

“Using the fact that Iskandar was a former employee to link the minister to abuse of power involving other companies does not make any sense,” the statement said. It urged anyone with information on the ministry’s procurement to hand over evidence and documents to the MACC “instead of throwing random accusations and causing slander and false gossip”.

MACC has launched an investigation into several contracts allegedly awarded after direct negotiations by the health ministry to procure equipment to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. The equipment included test kits and protective gear.

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