Deputy Finance Minister Sidesteps Call to Reveal 101 Direct-Nego Projects

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Deputy Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri sidestepped a call to reveal the list of 101 projects that were awarded contracts through direct negotiations during Pakatan Harapan’s time in government.

Instead, Rahim defended direct tenders and said this was only an issue because Harapan had allegedly promised to stop practising the method in giving out project contracts.

The matter arose when Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (Harapan-Kulim Bandar Bharu) called on the government to reveal the list of 101 projects, which he said was not a difficult thing to do.

“It can be done in 24 hours, with the entire strength and infrastructure of the Finance Ministry this is an easy question to solve,” Saifuddin said in an additional query during oral questions.

Rahim replied: “Direct tenders are allowed in our procurement procedures, it is only an issue because Harapan, in its manifesto, said it would ensure there were no more direct tenders.”

He added that it showed the principle of competency, accountability and transparency, was not fully practised.

It is worth noting that the Harapan manifesto does not actually say it will stop direct tenders.

Instead, it said that it would ensure open tenders were used extensively especially for large projects and that the procurement and tendering system would be reviewed.