Bulk of 101 direct deals signed during BN’s time, says Guan Eng

Former finance minister and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng today said most of the 101 direct awards supposedly approved under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration were negotiated during Barisan Nasional’s (BN) tenure in power.

In a press conference at Parliament here, he said based on the list provided by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz yesterday, the direct tenders awarded under PH only amounted to about RM352 million.

He said the remaining RM6.28 billion were direct awards given under BN which PH was forced to continue or takeover.

“The figure is not RM6.61 billion as claimed,” he said, adding that this was only 0.07% of total government procurement under PH.

“This means 99.93% of total government procurement was offered through tender, not direct negotiation.”

Lim said of the RM352 million, RM170 million or 48% was for the development, maintenance and operation of the Taman Beringin solid waste transfer station in Jinjang Utara, Kuala Lumpur.

He said the project was undertaken by the housing and local government ministry, helmed by Zuraida Kamaruddin.

“Maybe it would be better if the minister concerned – who is also MP for Ampang – who is denying having offered any direct contracts, can explain why this project was offered through direct negotiation,” he said.

He also said five projects worth RM4.48 billion which Zafrul had included in the list were offered under the BN government.

Elaborating on some of the projects, Lim said there was the RM4.48 billion Klang Valley double-track 2 (KVDT2) project, which was initially offered to the recipient company for RM5.3 billion.

PH had cancelled the original contract because of the high price.

Lim said the government renegotiated the contract and secured a lower price of RM4.48 billion following an appeal by Dhaya Maju Infrastructure Asia Sdn Bhd and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera to the government to resume the project.

He said there were also four other projects under the international trade and industry ministry worth RM8.18 million that were carried out before April 2018, when BN was still in government.

He added that 31 of the 101 projects listed, amounting to RM1.753 billion, were continuations of BN projects or renewal of services.

Lim also defended some of direct awards such as the RM70 million offered to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for the printing of primary school textbooks and the RM2.98 million Rabies Disease Integrated Operation in Sarawak under the agriculture and food industries ministry.

He said these projects were awarded under special circumstances and involved the interests of students and Sarawakians.

He said the list also revealed that some ministries previously led by current Perikatan Nasional ministers had asked for direct awards, including Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (RM517.7 million), Zuraida (RM170.8 million), International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali (RM1.2 million) and Rural Development Minister Rina Harun (RM7.36 million).

He maintained that Zafrul should be transparent in revealing any direct awards he had granted himself, apart from those granted under BN.

“Zafrul must prove that all direct tender projects he has approved meet the criteria and are of public interest,” he added.