KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has today urged Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz to reveal the full details of alleged direct negotiation deals under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
After Tengku Zafrul made the claim in Parliament yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the minister had mentioned that 101 projects worth RM6.61 billion were given out in such a manner, but did not disclose any details.
“To ensure that the principle of transparency is upheld, I urge that the list of the said projects be announced, together with the names of those who have gotten the approval, regardless of who they are,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement.
Menteri Kewangan perlu menyenaraikan senarai projek-projek rundingan terus pic.twitter.com/E0w5SASNmo— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) August 25, 2020
The Langkawi MP said it was in the interest of the public to know who had been “enjoying this special perk”.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission confirmed earlier today that it will be looking into the direct negotiation contracts for possible corruption, embezzlement or abuse of power after several NGOs had filed complaints with it.
Uproar over the direct negotiations contracts began in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday when Tengku Zafrul affirmed during his wind-up of the Temporary Measures for Government Financing (Covid-19) 2020 that the PH administration had approved a certain number of government projects despite pushing for open tender contracts during its short-lived rule.
However, Tengku Zafrul also explained in Parliament yesterday that the approved projects had followed regulations that allowed for exemptions.
As example, he said the projects approved by his predecessor Lim Guan Eng were those that could have affected the government’s interest if they were not allowed to proceed.
Lim, who is Bagan MP, had said he is open to making the list of contracts awarded through direct negotiation public.
He told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that even Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is aware of the matter.
Lim and other PH leaders have since been urging Tengku Zafrul to disclose the full list.
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