FORMER environment and water minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man defended the ministry’s decision to award flood mitigation projects through a direct tender process.
In an immediate response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had announced the halting of the projects earlier today, Tuan Ibrahim said the premier should know that the direct tender process was aimed at speeding up works in times of emergency.
“As the prime minister, he should not assume that all projects that are awarded through direct tender process as being improper and involve conflict of interests,” the PAS deputy president said in a statement.
“He must understand that there are many emergency works that need to be carried out immediately in order to prevent a worse situation and inflict more losses.
“Thus, some projects had to be given through direct negotiation or direct offer, especially in cases of disasters such as floods, broken reservoirs [or burst dams], landslides, and so on.
“But I would like to stress here that these projects still have to go through all the necessary financial procedures as required [by the government].”
Tuan Ibrahim’s statement comes after Anwar said that the Finance Ministry has been ordered to suspend the approval of RM7 bil in flood mitigation projects, which he said were approved via direct tender.
The projects, he said, involved a significant allocation, and the decision to approve them through direct negotiations was made with the pretext of solving the nation’s flood woes.
Anwar said during a press conference after clocking in on his first day as Finance Minister that he had asked that the projects be halted and that they be re-examined so that there is a principle of transparency and also to comply with the rules that have been set.
Main pic credit: Harakah Daily