KUCHING, Nov 29: Although the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Transportation (MIDT) is in charge of ports in Sarawak, Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) is not under its or its agencies’ purview.
When asked to elaborate further in an exclusive interview with Dayakdaily, MIDT Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing explained that the ministry has no representative nor officer sitting as Bintulu Port Authority board members. Thus, all decisions made on Bintulu Port is therefore not privy to his ministry.
“Bintulu Port is under the purview of the federal authority and federal agency which is Bintulu Port Authority. As a result, all awards of contracts and management of the port is directly under federal authority. My ministry is not involved in any contracts awarded.”
Although the Sarawak Government is not represented by MIDT on the Bintulu Port board, the state is represented through other officers who are from other agencies or ministries.
Dayakdaily found out through the BPA website that Sarawak is represented by Rodziah Morshidi (general manager of Bintulu Development Authority) and Datu Ismawi Ismuni (Deputy State Secretary Sarawak) as Directors.
Meanwhile, Sadong Jaya assemblyman Aidel Lariwoo and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party central committee member Pang Leong Ming are on the board as independent directors. Other notable board members include its Deputy Chairman Dato’ Chew Kok Woh who is also a central committee member for Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).
The recent Auditor-General Report 2016 Series 2 pointed out many irregularities and suggested that the Transport Ministry instruct the BPA board conduct a detailed investigation and report to the enforcement agencies if there were criminal elements.
The report, which was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, also detected the approval of three procurements for jobs worth RM1.452 billion without prior financial allocations, four procurements valued at RM1.467 billion without open tender, and conducting direct negotiations without the consent of the Finance Ministry.
A local daily also reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would study the Auditor-General’s Report to determine if corruption or abuse of power had taken place in BPA’s decision-making process. — DayakDaily