Direct Nego Deals: Guan Eng Challenges Zuraida to Reveal All Letters

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Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has again urged Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to reveal all letters on two directly negotiated projects involving her ministry.

“For the sake of truth and transparency, reveal all the relevant letters from me, if there are any, Zuraida herself, the chief secretary of the Treasury, and the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) secretary-general.

“Zuraida should not claim that there are such letters but do not dare to reveal the letters to the public,” Lim said.

This comes after Zuraida said she was prepared to hand over the documents – letters purportedly from her ministry’s secretary-general to the finance ministry to seek approval for direct negotiations on a RM170.3 million solid waste project.

Zuraida had said she was not aware of the projects and claimed that the direct negotiation for the solid waste project was directly taken up by Lim.

Lim refuted this and, in a statement today, said such a huge project could not have been approved without Zuraida’s knowledge.

He also said that Zuraida cannot hide behind the MACC as an excuse not to reveal all the letters related to the PSPTB project, especially since she had admitted yesterday that there was a letter from her ministry’s secretary-general to the Finance Ministry regarding the solid waste project.

Zuraida had said yesterday that the letter is in her ministry’s possession and that she would hand it over to the MACC if there was such a request.

“There is no way such a big project was approved without her knowledge. If it is true the request was done without Zuraida’s knowledge, then the secretary-general can have disciplinary action taken against him.

“I do not believe that the KPKT secretary-general is someone who would carry out such a ‘betrayal’ even towards a minister who ‘betrayed’ Pakatan Harapan,” Lim said.

Zuraida’s political secretary Nor Hizwan Ahmad had yesterday claimed he had several letters to prove that Lim was responsible for the direct negotiation deal for the project attributed to the KPKT, including a proposal letter from the Finance Ministry and another letter from contractor Bumi Segar Indah (BSI) addressed to the KPKT.

Nor Hizwan said in the letter dated Aug 21, 2018, the ministry had instructed KPKT to complete a new application on the solid waste transfer station and resubmit within 14 days. The letter was signed by the ministry’s secretary-general.

However, Lim said if there were any suggestions or proposals made to the ministry that was related to the KPKT, the matter would have been referred to the KPKT first for further action.

“If there was a letter of instruction from me, Zuraida would have surely revealed it much earlier,” he said.

He also said Zuraida was in the cabinet meeting which decided to reduce the contract value approved by BN by 10 percent.

“Zuraida played up a political trick when she tried to relate the cabinet decision in 2018 to reduce 10 percent from the contract value which was approved by BN as proof that I myself did direct negotiations.

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“Zuraida should tell the truth, that she was present in that cabinet meeting which made the decision to cut the BN contract prices by 10 percent in order to save the country’s money,” he said.

Lim also criticised MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki for not saying that the MACC will also investigate direct negotiation projects under the BN and Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.

“He (Azam) only said MACC will analyse all direct negotiation projects under Harapan to see whether it has corruption elements or not.

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“How can Azam Baki uphold the MACC slogan without also examining direct negotiation projects during the BN and PN administration to see whether there are elements of corruption?” Lim questioned.

By only looking at projects under Harapan, he said the MACC has proven that they are practising double standards.