Agriculture ministry denies interference in RM1 bil padi project

(FMT) – The agriculture and agro-based industry minister and his deputy do not interfere in the awarding of contracts to any party, Parliament heard today.

Deputy minister Sim Tze Tzin stressed this point today when rejecting the allegation by Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam), made during the debate on the Supply Bill 2020, that three contracts connected to a padi project, exceeding a total value of RM1 billion, had been cancelled because the minister allegedly wanted to award the project to the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas).

Sim said the tenders in connection with the project were being validated by the finance ministry.

He explained that in accordance with procedure, after a tender was approved at the ministry level, it needed to be validated by the finance ministry, after which the minister would issue a letter of acceptance to the successful tenderer.

According to a finance ministry circular dated June 29, 2018, any tender exceeding RM50 million in value, requires the ministry’s validation, Sim added.