The government has been urged to come clean about the RM38.5 million renovations done at Seri Perdana, the prime minister’s residence, and to furnish a breakdown of the costs involved.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the details must be disclosed to justify such use of the people’s funds in the face of the twin national crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the national recession.
“What are the renovations required that have led to such a high cost? Unless the costs are subjected to stringent scrutiny, the public has every right to question whether the RM38.5 million could have been better utilised for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic with more ICU beds, better treatment, medicines or even financial aid to those affected by the economic recession,” he said in a statement.
Previously, special functions minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad noted that the renovations were approved on March 19, with work beginning shortly after on March 29.
Initially, the project was expected to be completed by Dec 7, but he said it was ahead of schedule, having been 74% completed as of yesterday and ahead of the 71% progress that had been expected.
The Bagan MP questioned the approval for the renovations, saying: “For a project that was approved only on March 19 but yet work could commence a mere 10 days later, gives rise to questions whether an open tender was conducted.
“If not, then where is the urgency, to the point that government procurement protocols are not complied with?”
Lim also sought justification for the spending at a time when Malaysians were reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At a time when the government is short of funds, is spending RM38.5 million on renovations necessary when such funds can be used to build public housing for the poor, especially in the urban areas,” he added. – FMT