EPISODE 18: Selangor government still to end negotiated contracts

In August 2008, Khalid Ibrahim announced that Selangor is also going to end the practice of negotiated contracts, just like Penang. But that same year, RM79 million worth of contracts were awarded on a negotiated basis. In 2009 it was RM27 million and in 2010 RM143 million. I do not have the figures for last year but looking at the trend we can safely assume it was in the region of RM100 million.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Lim Guan Eng in Penang is already practicing the open tender system, so much so that a number of contracts ended up in the hands of Umno people. I suppose that is what transparency is all about. Contracts go to those who are qualified, not to those who belong to your political party.

In August 2008, Khalid Ibrahim announced that Selangor is also going to end the practice of negotiated contracts, just like Penang. But that same year, RM79 million worth of contracts were awarded on a negotiated basis. In 2009 it was RM27 million and in 2010 RM143 million. I do not have the figures for last year but looking at the trend we can safely assume it was in the region of RM100 million.

Okay, so that comes to only RM350 million or so, you may say. That’s not as bad as Barisan Nasional’s billions of Ringgit, you may argue. Well, if you murder one person you are a murderer. 100 people and you are still a murderer. There is no such thing as a small murderer and a big murderer. Murder is murder.

The same goes for the legal work in Selangor. Those who support Pakatan Rakyat or are leaders of Pakatan Rakyat get all the legal work. The legal work does not go to those who offer the cheapest price. Hence the state has to pay a much higher price for its legal work.

Many lawyers who are not Pakatan Rakyat leaders or are not cronies of these leaders are grumbling that they can do the legal work much cheaper or at half the price but they do not get any work. Only those in the ‘circle’ get the work.

Yes, I know, Pakatan Rakyat denies this allegation. Even those Pakatan Rakyat lawyers who do get the legal work say that they did not make the decision to award their own companies the work. ‘Other people’, employees and not partners of their firm, made that decision. Hence there is no conflict of interest since they only work for the firm and are not partners of the firm.

Rafidah Aziz also did not make the decision to award her children shares in public companies. The committee made that decision. She did not even vote on the matter. She abstained from voting.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad also did not make the decision to award his son a quota for car import permits (APs). It was a Ministry of Trade decision. It was a decision made by the AP committee. Rafidah just happened to have headed the committee but then she is only one vote amongst many in that committee.

Shahrizat Jalil also did not make the decision to give her husband and children RM250 million of taxpayers’ money for the NFC project. She is also not involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The officers in her Ministry made that decision. She only happens to be the wife of the person who got the RM250 million.

So why are we screaming about Rafidah, Dr Mahathir and Shahrizat? They are playing by the same rules as Pakatan Rakyat. Other people made the decision, not them, just like other people made the decision to give the Pakatan Rakyat lawyers the legal work.

If the Pakatan Rakyat lawyers are so clean then why are they afraid of making public the list of lawyers who got legal work from the Selangor state government and its agencies? How much have these lawyers been paid so far? And were the jobs tendered out or did they get the legal work based on ‘negotiated’, and at a higher price than what others could do it for?

I remember what Dr Mahathir replied when he was asked as to why he appointed Daim Zainuddin as the Finance Minister of Malaysia. Daim is my friend, he replied. Surely I will appoint my friend, someone I trust, as my Finance Minister. Who in his right mind is going to appoint his enemy?

Yes, and when Dr Mahathir appointed his friend and crony Daim as the Finance Minister we screamed. Now these same people are arguing that surely Selangor will give the legal work to Pakatan Rakyat crony lawyers. When Umno was in power they gave the legal work to Umno crony lawyers. So now it is the turn of the Pakatan Rakyat crony lawyers to get the legal work, and at a higher price. Surely Selangor is not going to give the legal work to Umno lawyers?

Yes, two wrongs always make it right. Cut the crap. Just publish the list of names of the lawyers and reveal whom they are and how much they have been paid thus far. Stop all this nonsense of ‘since you made the allegation then you prove it’.

When Barisan Nasional says the same thing we whack them. When Barisan Nasional simply denies any wrongdoing we get angry. Denial is no defence, we say. When Barisan Nasional asks us to prove that there is wrongdoing we scream.

Okay, prove that Rosmah spent millions shopping in Australia.

Prove that Rosmah ordered that multi-million-dollar diamond ring.

Prove that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had dinner with Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Prove that Dr Mahathir and not Anwar Ibrahim was behind the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex fiasco. After all, in 1992 and 1993, Anwar and not Dr Mahathir was the Finance Minister — he became the Finance Minister in 1991.

When we say something about the opposition you scream, “Prove it!” But when you make an allegation against Umno or Barisan Nasiional no need to prove it. Must be 100% truth!

Well, I say that in 2008, 2009 and 2010 Selangor gave out RM250 million worth of contracts (same figure as the NFC) on a negotiated and non-tender basis. And the details are below. And if the Selangor government denies this, the next step will be to publish the details of these contracts such as the contract numbers, names of companies and the dates of the contracts. Or maybe I will send them to the MACC instead. Hmm….yes, I think that is what I will do.


‘No open tenders’: MCA files report

Selangor government contracts amounting to RM143 million were not awarded through open tenders, claims MCA.

(Free Malaysia Today, 6 July 2011) – MCA has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against the Selangor government for alleged discrepancies in the awarding of state contracts.

Selangor MCA public complaints bureau chairman Theng Book said that 44 contracts given out in 2010 amounting to RM143 million were not given through open tenders.

Some of these contracts, he said, were even given out twice.

“After we studied the contracts, we found that there are many, many discrepancies, including contracts that were awarded twice. When given out again, they tendered them again,” he told reporters here.

He added that the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government had also supplied fertiliser above market value.

Theng said MCA raised the matter with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim on June 22.

He added that Khalid would provide an answer for MCA’s queries at the Selangor state assembly next week.

Theng claimed that the state government tried to convince him that these contracts were awarded before Pakatan took over the state in 2008.

“He (Khalid) is responsible for it. He cannot push everything to the previous state government and leave it open,” he added.

Theng also said that he did not want to wait for Khalid to give an answer at the Selangor State Legislative Assembly next week, and therefore filed the report.

Asked on the nature of these contracts, he said that he could not reveal the details as the MACC report had already been lodged, and they were not allowed to talk about the case.

“If we talk too much, they will know how to cover (up),” he said.

MCA attacked the state government for allegedly reneging on its promise of transparency and accountability in awarding of contracts.

Theng’s deputy Kelvin Chong Seng Foo zeroed in on DAP’s PJ Utara MP Tony Puu, asking him to file a report with the MACC if there were abuses of power.

“As for MCA, we dare to talk, we dare to do it,” he said.