Second-Biggest Direct-Nego Deal Involved Firm Linked to Zahid’s Corruption Trial

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After Ministry of Transport’s RM4.48 billion double-tracking deal, the second-biggest item in Ministry of Finance’s list of direct negotiations under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government involved Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd (DTSB).

The firm awarded a RM270 million deal on procurement of biodata polycarbonate page, is the supplier of biodata chips used in Malaysian passports implicated in a current corruption trial involving Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Miera Zulyana

In February, a witness told the High Court that DTSB won a directly negotiated contract from the Home Ministry to supply 12.5 million polycarbonate passport chips for a five-year period worth RM318.75 million in 2014 despite an unsatisfactory track record as the Finance Ministry approved of this.

Former Finance Ministry deputy secretary-general in charge of government procurement Dr Uzailee Abdul Latif said a letter dated May 26, 2014, from DTSB reached then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s office to discuss approval for the contract to supply passport chips.

Zahid, who was then in charge of the Home Ministry, is facing 47 charges in court, including money-laundering, bribery, and criminal breach of trust.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now prime minister, was the home minister under the PH administration.

In total, the Home Ministry awarded RM517.68 million worth of projects through the process, involving eight deals, making it the third-largest awarder after the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Defence.

This also included RM150.8 million deal for the 1PDRM Net network for the police force to Telekom Malaysia Bhd. – MMO