Parliament: Indelible ink supplier close to EC chiefs, says Pandan MP 

(The Star) – Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli claimed that a businessman received  the contract to supply indelible ink for the May 5 general election  despite “being close” to the Election Commission chief and his deputy.

He questioned the EC if it was true that businessman Mohd Salleh Mohd Ali was the supplier of the indelible ink for GE13.

“I call on Arau (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim) to confirm my information on this. 

“This is internal information from the EC,” he told Parliament when debating the Supplementary Supply (2012) Bill 2013 during its second reading.

Rafizi claimed that Mohd Salleh was also awarded contracts for several projects involving the Defence Ministry and other Government agencies.

Datuk Seri Reezal Merican (BN – Kepala Batas) then questioned Rafizi’s allegations and pointed out that direct negotiations were “not new” practices.

“It was even practised when Permatang Pauh (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) was the Finance Minister. I ask this in good faith,” he said.

To this, Rafizi said the contract to supply indelible ink could be given via open tender so as to obtain the best value.

In a reply to Rafizi, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said there were certain GE13 items which had to be taken from local suppliers.

“This is categorised as urgent need. The Government will take action so that direct negotiations can be reduced,” he said.

On the cost of building six new Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campuses, Rafizi claimed that the current cost was RM8.3bil via private finance initiatives.

“However, this is four times more expensive than if the contracts were awarded based on open tender,” he said.

Rafizi’s claims were later lambasted by Barisan Nasional MPs like Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) who called him a “trumpet blower” for blowing up the issue. 

Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (BN – Pengerang) accused Rafizi of manipulating facts and that he could afford to make such allegations because he has already graduated.

“He does not realise that a lot of Malaysian youths want to gain entry into UiTM and there is a need for more campuses because there isn’t enough,” she said.