Zuraida’s Aide Shows Letters Alleging Guan Eng Involved in Direct Nego Project

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Nor Hizwan Ahmad, the political secretary to Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, has shown a letter to prove that former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was responsible for a direct negotiation deal attributed to the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT).

Hizwan held a press conference this afternoon and showed a chronology of how a new solid waste transfer station project in Taman Beringin, Kuala Lumpur was approved.

He stressed that Zuraida was not involved in the project application process.

Hizwan claimed that he has several letters, including a proposal letter from the Finance Ministry (MOF) and another letter from contractor Bumi Segar Indah (BSI) addressed to the KPKT.

He added, in the letter dated Aug 21, 2018, MOF instructed KPKT to complete a new application on the solid waste transfer station and resubmit within 14 days.

The letter was signed by the MOF secretary-general (KSU).

Following this, Hizwan said that the KPKT secretary-general sent an application letter on Aug 30, 2018, to the National Budget Office, which is under the purview of MOF.

In another letter by BSI which dated Nov 29, 2019, he said, the contractor revealed to the KPT secretary-general that it had discussed the issue with Lim on Nov 26, 2019.

Choon Chyuan Low/Malaysiakini

“It means that there was a discussion between the contractor and former finance minister Lim Guan Eng.”

Direct negotiation doesn’t need minister approval

Hizwan quoted from BSI’s letter which stated that Lim advised the contractor to lower the tipping fee, and the contractor agreed.

“BSI agreed to lower the tipping fee from RM48 per tonne to RM43.20 per tonne…obviously, Lim was involved in the direct negotiation, discussed with the contractor and even give tips to the company.”

Tipping fees are waste disposal fees which are borne by the government and paid to the contractor.

Hizwan claimed that Pakatan Harapan agreed to suspend all direct negotiation projects yet Lim restarted the practice.

When asked whether the KPKT minister can reject such demands, Hizwan replied: “Zuraida don’t know about it at all…according to the directory (panduan), (direct negotiation) doesn’t need the minister’s approval.”

Zuraida challenged to publicly disclose letters

On Aug 24, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz told Dewan Rakyat that the Harapan government had approved 101 projects and procurements worth RM6.61 billion via direct negotiations during its 22-month tenure.

Zuraida, who also held the KPKT portfolio in the Harapan cabinet, said she was not involved in any direct dealings and that two such projects of the ministry were awarded without her knowledge.

Last Saturday, Lim challenged Zuraida to publicly disclose the letters related to one of the two projects approved via direct negotiations under the Harapan government.

He claimed that the Taman Beringin Solid Waste Project worth RM170.3 million was applied for by Zuraida’s ministry to MOF.

Malaysiakini is seeking a response from Lim on the allegations. – Malaysiakini