Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has accepted a challenge from the opposition to resign if the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission finds him guilty of abuse of power.
“Allah is my witness. If there is abuse of power – and MACC finds there is an abuse of power – I will be the first to resign,” he told Dewan Rakyat today.
Syed Saddiq was replying to Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar), who asked him if he would resign if he was found to be linked to the distribution of contracts.
Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) had earlier he had proof that contracts worth RM7 million had been given to a company to run Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara in Melaka, Selangor and Perlis.
He asked the reason for allowing one company to run several projects simultaneously.
Jalaluddin also read out the names of companies in different states which, he said, were given contracts worth millions.
Earlier, wrapping up his ministry’s committee level debate on Budget 2020, Syed Saddiq said the era of ministers giving out contracts had ended.
He said those qualified could apply without the interference of the minister.
“All the contracts need to go through e-perolehan (government tender system) after which, they go through another evaluation process,” he said.
He said the evaluation process involved senior ministry officers going through the technical and financial details, followed by vetting by the finance and works ministries.
“It is hard for a tender to be abused. We allow civil servants to decide as they follow the standard operating procedures,” he said, adding that he was not blaming anyone.
Syed Saddiq said he had also told his officer to report postings of the alleged of abuse of contract, which had gone viral on social media, to MACC.
“I take this seriously (as my integrity is involved),” he said.
It was at this point that Shahar interjected, asking him if he would resign if he was linked to the companies.
“Minister, I only want to ask for one commitment from you, in this honourable hall. Do these three companies not have any links to you?” Shahar asked, to which Syed Saddiq replied in the negative.
“I hope what the minister has said is the truth,” he said, before challenging him to resign.
After being challenged several times, Syed Saddiq agreed.
He then told the opposition members he was not afraid to accept their challenge and reminded them that there were direct and limited tender projects, including abandoned projects, under Barisan Nasional which had wasted taxpayers’ money.
“I can name one by one, alright? The tenders before this, were given via direct negotiations, and limited tender. Projects were abandoned, tens of millions [of ringgit] wasted. Contracts were directed to fellow comrades in Umno divisions! I can prove it,” he claimed.
Earlier report: Nov 25, Syed Saddiq Refutes Claims of Contract Abuse in Ministry