Letting ministers award contracts is wrong, MoCS tells PM

Francis Siah - file pic

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, Nov 27: Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) is strongly opposed to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to allow ministers to award government contracts in areas under their jurisdiction.

MoCs chairman Francis Siah opined such an act is morally wrong and goes against Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s promise of open tenders and doing away with direct negotiation.

“MoCS likens the move to yet another of PH’s broken promise. It is shocking and another (sic) proof that Malaysians have been cheated again, as if the slew of other PH U-turns are not enough to demoralise and put off Malaysians.

“Is not the concept of open tenders aimed to encourage transparency in the bidding of contracts and to weed out corruption?,” Siah questioned in a statement issued here today.

Siah also questioned how would the ministers decide to whom the contracts should be awarded to, if ministers were allowed to award contracts.

“Surely, their first choice will be those within their inner circle — family members, close friends, cronies and political supporters. This is the fastest and surest way to breed corruption among members of the cabinet,” he added.

As such, he opined it was crucial to ask whether the matter was collectively decided upon by the cabinet or was it another unilateral decision by the prime minister.

“If so, it is appalling that none of the ministers have objected to the move which they should know is wrong. Or did they agree because each of them has now been given a blank cheque to award contracts as they deem fit?

“If this move is not reversed, PH will go down in Malaysian history as the government with the worst record of lies, deceptions and U-turns. With each passing day, the resemblance of the PH government to a ‘one-term wonder’ is getting clearer,” added Siah.

He was commenting on news reports of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying that ministers could directly award contracts related to their portfolio.

In Parliament this week, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong accused Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub of seeking to directly award RM1.4 billion in contracts. — DayakDaily