Ngeh: Rural ministry paid RM404m for higher-priced bids

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The rural and regional development ministry spent RM404 million extra this year after 67 open tender projects were not awarded to the lowest qualified tenders, DAP’s Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said today.

Ngeh, the party’s deputy secretary-general, told reporters that of 209 projects planned for the year, the ministry has only awarded 129, of which only 68 were by open tender.

“Although open tenders were conducted for the 68 projects, all were not given to the lowest-priced bidder except for one. Many were awarded at many times the lowest price tendered.

“There are reasons to suspect the existence of rampant corrupt practices,” the Beruas MP said.

He listed one such project as having a lowest qualifying bid of RM7,775,000 but where the ministry eventually awarded the tender for RM41,736,809.77, a difference of nearly RM34 million or over 500 per cent the lowest price.

The Perak DAP chief added that along with the 61 other projects awarded through direct negotiations and limited tenders, he estimated that “the people have lost at least RM500 million through improper awarding of these projects.”