Guan Eng, finance ministry, negotiated 2 direct deals under my ministry, claims Zuraida

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

PETALING JAYA: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin today claimed that former finance minister Lim Guan Eng and his previous ministry had key roles to play in the two directly negotiated projects involving her ministry.

Zuraida confirmed they were the Taman Beringin solid waste project (worth RM170,294,400) and the Century software accounting system (worth RM501,206.37), both tallying with the information provided by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz in his list of 101 projects.

On Wednesday, Tengku Zafrul issued a statement outlining details of 101 projects worth RM6.61 billion which he claimed had been awarded through direct negotiation under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

Zuraida yesterday said the projects were negotiated without her knowledge and promised to look into the matter.

“I said I would investigate allegations made by PH lawmakers that both projects were awarded by direct negotiation by my ministry.

“As promised, I have investigated and am now announcing what I have discovered.

“I now confirm that this direct negotiation (for the solid waste project) was in fact directly taken up by the former finance minister himself (Lim),” she said in a statement.

Tengku Zafrul’s statement had listed the housing and local government ministry as awarding a RM170.3 million contract to Bumi Segar Indah Sdn Bhd to build, operate and maintain a solid waste transfer station in Taman Beringin, Kepong.

The ministry also awarded another contract valued at RM501,206.37 to Century Software (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to maintain financial and accounting systems.

Zuraida claimed that the Bumi Segar Indah’s adviser represented the ministry at a meeting with Lim on Nov 28, 2018 during which Lim discussed the renegotiation of the project and agreed to reduce the tipping fee cost purportedly to save government money.

Zuraida said Lim then advised Bumi Segar Indah to approach her ministry to present the renegotiation and follow up with a formal proposal.

“Subsequently, the project was approved by the finance ministry (under Lim) via a letter dated Feb 20, 2019 addressed to the housing and local government ministry’s secretary-general,” said Zuraida.

“Likewise, the Century software project, which involves five separate ministries, was also approved by the finance ministry,” she added.

Zuraida said her investigation proved that the claim of direct negotiation for the Taman Beringin solid waste project initiated by her ministry was a “false spin” by PH politicians.

“I hope in the future, PH politicians and former ministers will check their facts before misleading the public,” she added.