Ayer Hitam (BN) MP Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong claimed in Parliament today that Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub sought to award contracts worth RM1.4 billion directly to the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas).
During the Supply Bill debate, the MCA president alleged the contracts to be for rice-related subsidies and imports, adding that companies that had successfully tendered for similar jobs worth RM52.6 million have had their contracts cancelled.
“He had written a letter to the prime minister on November 7 during the Tanjung Piai by-election campaign to request the direct appointment of Nafas for the agricultural imports in the paddy sector for a three year period between 2020 to 2022,” Wee claimed.
According to the Opposition lawmaker, the ministry had called for an open tender on July 24 for the RM52.48 million worth of contracts over a three-year period and the companies that won the tenders have now been forced to enter into direct negotiations.
Wee then warned Salehuddin to consider his answer carefully, claiming there were many firms that would come forward to expose the issue.
Saying a report has been lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Wee asked if there was cronyism involved as members of Salahuddin’s Amanah party served in Nafas.
“Where is the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) now which is supposed to champion anti-corruption, integrity and transparency?” he asked.
Wee also told the Lower House that during the Tanjung Piai by-election campaign, hotel rooms were also booked under Nafas.
He went on to criticise the minister for asking Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to exempt some deals that could be construed as cronyism.
Wee’s claims prompted bipartisan calls from lawmakers such as Pendang MP (PAS) Awang Hashim and Pasir Gudang MP (PH) Hassan Abdul Karim for Salehuddin to give an explanation.
Later, Wee questioned PH’s integrity in governing the country, noting that the allegations he revealed today were a direct contradiction of the coalition’s claim of wanting to eliminate direct negotiations where possible.
“They keep saying they champion open tenders, but when Nafas did not get it, they use the backdoor channel,” he said.
Wee then asked if Dr Mahathir was misled or not given the full details in the issue.
Since the Minister is from AMANAH, Wee raised the presence of AMANAH politicians on the Board of Director.
Pakatan Harapan promised no more political appointments, but it is as rampant or common as during the Barisan Nasional administration.
Though there were attempt by pro-PH FBer claiming other members of the Board are aligned to BN, such excuse is lame. The Minister and Chairman cum Management calls the shot.
Wee raised the bigger question of weather there were elements of croynism. A report have been lodged with MACC.
In June 2018, it was the Minister that suspended NAFAS operations. Last year also, the Ministry approved ending BERNAS monopoly as the single and main supply and importer of rice on the basis of opening up for competition and efficiency.
So it is inconsistent for AMANAH politicians to use the open tender and encouraging competition as an excuse for a case but resort to backdoor channel to win tender at their convenience.
There were critics leveled at Wee from the reply by NAFAS Chairman Dato Pharolrazi Mohd Zawawi, who claimed it was necessary to meet the dividend due for its 900,000 members.
Wee was criticised for carrying a Chinese economic dominance agenda to monopolise the tender outcome for Chinese businessmen. The Chinese economic rhetoric tend to promote for open market, willingness for competition and laisse fairre economy.
However, it is heard Tony Pua is manipulating tender process to get the best deal but not the best price to reduce government cost.
One supply tender was heard to have undergone three bidding process without a decision made. It was meant to get to know the fair price level for a friendly Chinese to submit a direct nego proposal with a PFI term together with bag promised to be delivered before the letter of award.
Nego after open tender
The critic towards Wee is still an incomplete story. Why was did the KSU to opened the fertilizer supply for padi planting to open tender since it is known that NAFAS has a socio-economic role to supplement farmers income?
The KSU should have known that since 1986, there is a program for NAFAS to supply fertiler for direct nego. The factory was built on the instruction of PM4.
When the KSU open tender first before doing a direct nego, those involved in the tender wuld naturally be unhappy. However, without the tender awarded, NAFAS, its factory in Gurun, and nearby Petronas factory closed. Thousands of workers, especially Malays will lose their job.
Practically 96% of revenue came from the fertiler supply. That is return for more than 900,000 farmers. .
Governing Ain’t Easy, Babe
During campaigning, it is easy to make promise, criticise and do expose.
In reality, it is not so simple. More so, to meet the expectation of good governance, transparency and accountability in the pursuit to take care of the people
It is a good reminder to Salahuddin Ayub and his fellow AMANAH politicians that governing is not easy. Governing is prioritising and delicate balancing of conflicting interests.
So as government, they should stop shooting their mouth with cliche, rhetorics and endless polemics. The opposition understand well the intricacies of governing but the government side have yet to understand it.
Source : Another Brickin Wall
NAFAS Scandal: Lessons In The Intricacies of Governing
Minister of Agriculture, Dato Salahuddin Ayub and indirectly, the Prime Minister are being accused by MCA President and opposition MP for Air Hitam, Dato Wee Ka Siong in Parliament for giving out contract directly to NAFAS worth RM1.4 billon.
Apparently, it is done through a “jalan belakang” (back channel) upon consultation with the Prime Minister after NAFAS lost out in an open tender.
Opposition demanded an answer from the MInister by 4:00 PM but it was not forthcoming.
Cabinet ministers allowed to give out contracts, says Dr M
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today clarified that Cabinet ministers are allowed to hand out contracts as long as they are within their respective jurisdictions.
“Yesterday, Anwar told me there are some Cabinet ministers who are giving out contracts.
“But actually, Cabinet ministers have a right to give out contracts, but just not in areas apart from their own,” he said commenting on his meeting with Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.
It was reported that Anwar, who is also PKR president, had met with Dr Mahathir in Putrajaya to discuss several issues concerning power transition and the country’s economic growth.
Anwar had after the meeting in a statement said that both of them oppose any efforts to deviate from the consensus, or to misuse their names with regard to the issue.
He also said that the prime minister has taken note of allegations made against the Cabinet ministers who abuse their powers or to gain political support through the awarding of contracts.