The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been lauded for crippling a cartel that was monopolising government tenders, reportedly headed by a wealthy and powerful “Datuk”.
Calling it a betrayal of the rakyat’s trust and an embarrassment to the civil service, anti-graft group Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) said bumiputra contractors were the most affected by this syndicate.
“Bumiputras are the biggest losers because honest companies are losing out on these contracts.
“This is despite the government’s efforts to uplift the bumiputras through well-planned affirmative action policies and awarding of contracts,” TI-M president Muhammad Mohan said in a statement today.
He said corruption was still rife within the civil service, as seen through recent reports of other corruption scandals involving law enforcement agencies, including the immigration department and even the police.
Muhammad said this had contributed to public distrust in government institutions and agencies, citing a 2020 survey that stated 71% of Malaysians believed the government was facing major corruption issues.
Earlier this week, MACC arrested seven people believed to be part of a syndicate that reportedly controlled more than 150 companies, monopolising RM3.8 billion worth of government projects. The seven arrested included the syndicate’s 47-year-old boss.
The 150 companies were used to submit tenders in ministries and agencies.
The cartel, operating since 2014, is said to have been awarded 345 tenders worth RM3.8 billion.
MACC found that the boss owned two helicopters, a yacht and over RM41 million worth of luxury cars and properties. MACC also found RM3.5 million in cash in the house of the Datuk.
A senior official in a government agency was also arrested. The 38-year-old quantity surveyor, a Grade 48 civil servant, is said to have received bribes from the cartel in exchange for information on projects. – FMT