C4 Centre: Continue investigation on VEP contract

THE Centre of Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Centre) expressed concern over the findings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) regarding the vehicle entry permit (VEP) contract award, as it may prove yet again that direct negotiations in the public procurement process ‘more often than not results in dirty deals and unwelcomed influence by politics and power’.

The investigation by the PAC into the VEP contract award showed that political influence was involved in the RM145 mil contract to TCSens Sdn Bhd, since Tanjung Piai MP Wee Jeck Seng is a 25% shareholder of the company.

It is also notable that Wee was an elected central committee member in the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) when the Transport Minister at the time Liow Tiong Lai was the president of MCA.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport already had a questionable record when Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz exposed that the Klang Valley Double Track Phase 2 project was offered by the Barisan Nasional coalition via direct negotiations for RM5.26 bil.

Another example involved the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project which saw the PAC the naming of former Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy and former Port Klang Authority general manager OC Phang without any evidence of supporting letters and letters of undertaking from the Ministry of Finance.

With that, C4 Centre would like to stress on how conflicts of interest and undue influence are major enablers of corruption.

“We call for an immediate overhaul of the procurement process, with transparency being the aim to deter instances of self-gratification, bribes and potential corruption,” it said in a statement released today.

Due to this, C4 Centre urges the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the matter of the VEP, along with any other potentially involved persons with the deal.

“Unfortunately, while there are indeed regulations for public procurement, there are also loopholes (to it),” C4 Centre said.

“While we applaud the PAC for its bold move which resulted in such an important find, we recognise that more safety nets are essential. An ombudsman’s office that can assist both the PAC and the MACC in raising red flags during the process is worth serious consideration,” it added.

“The Perikatan Nasional administration must show the resolve and demonstrate a lot more accountability to the people, especially during these very challenging times.” – Nov 13, 2020

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