Uproar in Dewan Rakyat over RM6.6B Contracts Awarded During PH Administration

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Beruas MP given three warnings by Dewan Rakyat Speaker before he was asked to leave the House and return tomorrow.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s claim that Pakatan Harapan had given out 101 contracts worth RM6.6 billion via direct negotiations threw the Dewan Rakyat into an uproar this afternoon.

Opposition MPs clashed with their colleagues on the government bench after Tengku Zafrul made the disclosure while winding up the debate on the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Coronavirus Disease 2019 [Covid-19]) Bill 2020.

According to Tengku Zafrul, the then PH government had awarded 101 projects through direct negotiations amounting to RM6.61 billion.

Bernama

Tengku Zafrul was responding to Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN – Pontian) who asked the finance minister to inform the House regarding projects awarded through direct negotiations under the PH administration.

The PH government was in power from May 2018 until late February.

Tengku Zafrul’s answer prompted Perikatan Nasional MPs to get up to denounce PH for hiding the facts.

Abdul Azeez Rahim (Baling-BN) called for a list of those projects.

“Bagan…now this is transparency, we want an open tender list, give it to us in writing,” said Azeez, calling on Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng who was the PH finance minister.

Tiong King Sing (Bintulu-GPS) jumped in next to take a shot at the DAP secretary-general.

“Bagan says (PH) is clean, how can this be clean?” said Tiong.

“I am open if the minister wants to provide a list. Those weren’t open tenders, they were made under certain conditions (and) it was approved by the (PH) cabinet,” Lim said.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH – Port Dickson) also said he supported the idea to reveal the list of all the projects allegedly awarded through direct negotiations, be it under the PH government or the current Perikatan Nasional administration.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali rejected Lim’s explanation, saying the PH cabinet was never informed of projects awarded through direct negotiations.

“It is not true that the cabinet knew. Where is the list of projects tabled at that time? Bagan has never tabled a list of such projects to the cabinet. It is not true,” said Azmin, who was the PH economic affairs minister.

Azmin has since switched sides to PN.

Lim then stood up and told Azmin: “You’re a liar.”

During the heated shouting match, Azhar repeatedly told all MPs to sit down, but Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (PH – Beruas) stood up and asked Tengku Zafrul for clarification on the matter.

A visibly upset Azhar then gave warnings to Ngeh to either sit down or face ejection from the House.

“Beruas, sit down. First warning. Second warning, sit down, I said sit down. Third warning, sit down. I want you to leave the Dewan now. Exit the Dewan now and come back tomorrow.

“This [Dewan Rakyat] is the highest voice for the people. I’d like to remind the Speaker he should only chair but not curtail the voices of the MPs,” Ngeh told reporters after he was ejected from the House.

He insisted that he was only trying to ask the finance minister to clarify the projects and accused Azhar of being partial.

“I personally feel that the Speaker has not shown impartiality,” Ngeh said.

Bernama

He also insisted that Azhar should resign as Speaker for allegedly overstepping his authority.