Poser over businessman’s role in Jana Wibawa programme

Charging of company director Teo Wee Cheng raises questions over ‘Bumiputeras only’ construction projects.

(FMT) – The charging of a Chinese Malaysian businessman in relation to the Jana Wibawa programme has raised questions about the implementation of the initiative meant wholly for Bumiputera companies.

Yesterday, Teo Wee Cheng, 65, a director of Pagoh-based SSH Furniture Sdn Bhd, was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes totalling RM12.8 million to help two companies obtain contracts under the Jana Wibawa programme.

The two companies are Muar Usaha Bakti Sdn Bhd and TS Dynamic Construction Sdn Bhd.

On social media, some questioned why the Bumiputera companies that ultimately benefited from the programme allegedly needed Teo’s help to secure the contracts.

Some asked why there was a need for a third party to help Bumiputera companies secure contracts.

Others questioned if Teo had a role to play in government and the Jana Wibawa programme, which was introduced in November 2020 during the tenure of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“What was his position in the Perikatan Nasional government, to the point (that) he can (allegedly) decide on projects worth millions of ringgit under the Jana Wibawa programme?” said Facebook user Desa HM.

Others questioned if it was a coincidence that Teo’s company is based in Pagoh.

Jana Wibawa, a Covid-19 stimulus initiative to help Bumiputera contractors, has come under the spotlight following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision’s (MACC) probe into it.

Aside from Teo, former Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan and Segambut Bersatu deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad have been charged with soliciting and accepting bribes in connection with the programme.

All three pleaded not guilty.

Earlier today, MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki said a few more investigation papers would be opened in relation to Jana Wibawa, adding that it was possible that three to four others would be arrested.

He also said MACC was still investigating Muhyiddin in relation to the programme after the Pagoh MP said he was not a suspect in the investigation.