Ministry to find ways to get rid of ‘broker-class contractors’

Mohd Redzuan addressing the 400-odd participants at the Sarawak-leg of the Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Empowerment Convention.

KUCHING, Sept 6: The Entrepreneur Development Ministry is studying ways to plug loopholes in the distribution of government tenders to ensure it would not be given to “broker-class contractors”.

Its minister, Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, said he was focused on fine-tuning the process and approach that could be adopted by government agencies to ensure future tenders were not awarded to ‘Ali Baba’ Bumiputera recipients.

Bumiputera contractors engaging in such activities are usually labelled as “broker-class contractors” as they are only interested in securing projects without being actively involved in its implementation.

“Curbing leakages in government tenders, identifying middle-men and lobbyists involved in ‘Ali Baba’ practices pose the biggest challenge.

“To reduce collateral damages, we are in the process of finding a more effective method to improve the awarding of contracts,” Mohd Redzuan said at the Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Empowerment Convention here today.

One of the approaches that would be adopted is monitoring the bidding contractors’ activities to identify genuine businesses. Apart from blacklisting ‘Ali Baba’ contractors, he agreed their licences should be revoked.

“In the end, it is the genuine contractors who are suffering,” he told the 400-odd local entrepreneurs present at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar here.

Kuching is the first stop of the convention road tour to empower Bumiputera entrepreneurs. It will next head to Kelantan on Sept 13 and Kota Kinabalu on Sept 17.

On another note, the minister advised Sarawak entrepreneurs to be bold in venturing out to develop their businesses. Bumiputera entrepreneurs must dare to take risk, be resilient and not be influenced by the feeling of being marginalised, if things don’t go their way.

“Be bold when you approach government agencies and banking institutes to apply for facilities or funds to support entrepreneurship growth. There are many facilities as well as funds available to aid entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“After all, micro industrialist and small, medium businesses are the drivers of the nation’s economy. We want to be fair and close the gap of entrepreneurs’ growth between Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula. We want to promote free exchange of trade and ideas across the country,” added Mohd Redzuan.

He mentioned that his ministry was also looking to introduce more programmes and facilities that are tailor-made to entrepreneurs in various fields.

The ministry is determined to create a level-playing field in all sectors, and this starts with curbing leakages and ‘Ali Baba’ practices in government tenders, he said.

In addition, Mohd Redzuan said the ministry would look to set up a one-stop centre for storing of entrepreneurs’ data and information, gather feedback, provide consultation services as well as coordinate complaints relating to entrepreneurs’ affair.

Focus would also be given to a new generation of entrepreneurs to ensure Bumiputera entrepreneurship continues to develop and be competitive in the global stage. — DayakDaily