Santiago: Ban letters of support entirely

By Teoh El Sen, Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government should enforce a blanket ban on letters of support and not merely discourage the practice, Klang MP Charles Santiago said. “The menteri besar has issued a circular but it is only urging people to refrain from doing it. It is not a blanket ban. I suggest that a committee be set up and a transparent mechanism properly worked out in six months,” he said, adding that a proper open tender system for excos, state governments and local councils should be implemented by Jan 1, 2011.
Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim was reported as saying today that state assemblymen and MPs can continue to issue letters of recommendations and support letters. He said that letters of support should be maintained primarily to help those who need welfare and scholarships.

“This was a system inherited from the BN. Now because there is a huge grey area, it is being abused. Tender board, and the directors of the different departments, can actually give out awards of contracts,” Santiago said.

“So what we want to do is have a system that makes it a level playing field. We must stipulate things very clearly,” he added.

“Right now, for example, an exco member could pick up the phone and say ‘I want the contract given to so and so’. That is a clear abuse of power and should not be tolerated at all,” said Santiago.