By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, Feb 19: The state government is working on simplifying the procurement process in order to help ensure Class F and Class C contractors — categorised as small contractors — have more opportunities to secure government tenders.
Under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) and Minor Rural Project (MRP) grants, for instance, there will be about 200 to 300 projects up for grabs among small contractors this year alone, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
Addressing about 300 Class F and C contractors at a symposium here today, he said the government wanted to all development projects to be implemented smoothly and to ensure that small contractors have chances to build up their capacity.
“The state government wants to roll out many projects, and our focus is small contractors, as we believe they can deliver the job as well as their big counterpart.
“It is not that we are sidelining big contractors when we say we want to focus on small contractors. For bigger contractors, they can tender for major projects.
“Class F and Class C contractors are categorised as small, and we are worried that they will not be able to compete with their bigger counterpart,” said Awang Tengah.
Statewide, there are 5,900 registered Class F and Class C Bumiputera contractors. In Miri alone, there are 518 of them.
On another matter, Awang Tengah advised small contractors to be proficient in delivering the projects awarded to them.
“Say no to ‘Ali Baba’ or ‘Ali Mama’ practices,” he said, adding that stern action would be taken against those who embrace such practices.
On politics, he told those present that the political landscape in the country had changed, and the state government could no longer depend on the federal government for development funds.
He said under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, the state had implemented a few initiatives to boost its financial resources, and this included the 5 per cent sales tax on petroleum products that are meant for export.
The symposium held here is the fifth in a series. Thus far, it has been held in Kuching, Lawas, Limbang and Bintulu. The next stop is Mukah.
Also present at today’s gathering were Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister for Local Government Datu Penguang Manggil, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau. — DayakDaily