Ensure Government Procurement Produces the Best Value for Taxpayer’s Money
The last Parliamentary sitting of 2019 ended on 5 Dec 2019. Here’s the summary of progress on PH’s Institutional and Political Reform
Related News: River of Life
MACC to check on River of Life project Allegation
10 October 2019 – Latheefa Koya, Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission (MACC), said they will look into the River of Life (RoL) project to determine if there were elements of wrongdoing related to graft in the project. She said the MACC has assigned a team of officers to check on the allegations made by the public and press. She said this to the New Straits Times via text message from Bangkok on 10 October 2019.
River of Life project has fallen short of objectives
7 October 2019 – Veena Babulal wrote about the failures of the River of Life (RoL) project. In her piece, she said the RoL was supposed to reinvigorate the areas surrounding the Gombak and Klang river however due to purported missed opportunities, the project has failed.
C4 Center Press Statement (16 August 2019) – River Of Life – A Vanity Project That Fails To Measure Up
16 August 2019 – C4 Center issued a press statement on 16 August 2019 to express concern over the state of the River of Life (ROL) project which was allocated a whopping RM4.4 billion for the redevelopment of 10km of the Klang River in central Kuala Lumpur and the clean-up of its waters and shoreline running 100 km upriver. Please read the full press release here.
PM Najib Launches River of Life project
28 August 2017 – Najib Razak, Prime Minister, launched the first phase of the River of Life (RoL) project and the Blue Pond area at the Jamek Mosque in Kuala Lumpur on 28 August 2017. The first phase of the RoL is the beautification of Dataran Merdeka, the Jamek Mosque and Central Market.
Land swap for Kuala Lumpur River City
19 July 2017 – Tengku Adnan, Federal Territories Minister, said that the government will trade 12.14 ha of land for Ekovest Berhad to undertake rehabilitation works on the first 2.2km of the 10km bank of land along the Gombak river under the Kuala Lumpur River City (KLRC) also known as the River of Life (ROL) project.
KL’s River of Life project takes off
1 July 2011 – Najib Razak, Malaysia Prime Minister, launched the River of Life Project on 1 July 2011, which he believes will drastically change the image of Kuala Lumpur. According to this article, the project aims to transform the Klang and Gombak rivers into iconic waterfronts the likes that are seen Amsterdam, Melbourne and Paris by the year 2020. The RM4 billion project will be divided into three parts which involve the cleaning of 110km Klang river basin, the beautification of 10.7km along the Klang and Gombak rivers and corridor development along the rivers.
DreamEDGE (New National Car Project)
C4 Center Press Statement (4 October 2019) – Malaysia’s Third National Car
4 October 2019 – C4 Center issued a press statement on 4 October 2019 to express their concern on the Third National Car project. The press has painted a grim picture over the project and lead C4 Center to highlights some of our concerns over the project. To read the press statement please click here.
No govt bailout for DreamEDGE if national car project fails, says MITI minister
16 August 2019 – Darrel Leiking, International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister, affirms the public that DreamEDGE will not be granted any government money not it will be bailed out if it fails. He says the role of his ministry is just to support the ecosystem for the project to work and feels that the project is viable. He said this to the press after officiating the Malaysia Aerospace Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur on 16 August 2019. The third national car project or officially known as the “New National Car Project” or NNCP. The NNCP be lead by DreamEDGE with Daihatsu Motors Co Ltd will be providing technological support.
Mahathir Revives Dream of Malaysian Car Brand, With Help From Japan
9 August 2019 – Darell Leiking, the Minister for International Trade and Industry announced that DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd will lead the Third National Car project in collaboration with Daihatsu Motors Co. He further added that the government will not fund the project and will only help with licensing matters. DreamEDGE is expected to launch an electric hybrid sedan car. According to this Bloomberg article, this project is reviving PM Mahathir Mohamad’s age-long ambition for Malaysia to have a competitive Malaysian car brand.
Govt finalising strategic partner for third national car
29 April 2019 – According to Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, Entrepreneur Development Minister, that the government will decide on the strategic partner for the third national car project. He added that the initiative will be private sector-driven and would not use any funds from the government. He also elaborated that the role of his ministry is to help the project to gain traction to get it going. He said made these statements on 29 April 2019 at the National Entrepreneurship Framework townhall session.
Third national car project aims to integrate the auto sector
12 March 2019 – Ong Kian Ming, the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, said that the third national car project is a vital component to integrate the national automotive parts sector as a major vendor for other automotive players in the other ASEAN nations. He said this at a dialogue session titled “ASEAN Integration Outlook 2019” organised by CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) on 23 March 2019. He added that Thailand is seen as a strong base for Japanese automotive companies which uses its good platform for their integrated supply chain. He added it is time for Malaysia to gear up its presence in the regional Automotive sector.
Govt must increase revenue, adopt prudent spending, says Auditor-General’s Report
14 October 2019 – The Malaysian Federal Government is advised to continue efforts to increase revenue through various sources and keep with prudent spending. This was conveyed via the Auditor-General 2018 report which launched on 14 October 2019. The report also highlighted the need for check and balance mechanisms with a regular evaluation with direct intervention by chief secretaries in the financial matters of their department/ministries.
Selling contracts will be a crime
27 September 2019 – Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-corruption Centre (GIACC) said today the Institut Integriti Malaysia for the “Corruption Free Procurement is Our Aspiration” forum organised by C4 Centre, that the government is going to criminalise the practice of selling government procured projects. GIACC and the MACC are in the process of drafting the bill. The C4 Center and Integriti Malaysia event were attended by around 220 officers from the government and also Government Link Companies. (The link goes to a Bahasa Malaysia news portal)
Direct negotiation only for essential purposes, says Dr Mahathir
19 September 2019 – The PM reiterates the need to have direct negotiation for the acquisition of unique products or services. The military often needs to purchase directly from the vendor as the product or service is unique to a particular vendor. He also reiterated that the majority of public procurement is done through open tender and limited tender. Dr Mahathir made this comment today after chairing the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption.
Government Procurement Act – To be tabled in 2020
18 July 2019 – At a press conference after a Cabinet Special Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) on 18 July 2019, the Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad talked about the scope of the Government Procurement Act. He said the bill be drafted by the Ministry of Finance and is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the middle of 2020.
Reform the public procurement system and the way contracts are awarded
31 October 2019
Dzulkefly Ahamad, Health Minister, announced on 31 October 2019, that the government has decided to terminate Pharmaniaga as a concessionaire for logistics and distribution of medicine. The government will introduce an open tender system. The concession given to Pharmaniaga to purchase, store, supply and distribute at least 700 pharmaceutical products will end by 30 November 2019.
18 July 2019 – In an article by BERNAMA, Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, said the government intended to table the Government Procurement Act in 2019. This new legislation will help the government to strengthen the integrity of the government procurement process and reduces the leakages / wastage in government spending. This was mentioned during the tabling of the 2019 budget.
Ensure open tendering is used extensively and transparently, particularly for large projects
Works to upgrade Lawas Hospital to begin in February, assures minister
23 December 2019
Ministry of Health has approved RM 175 million for the construction of the Lawas Hospital project which will begin in February within 182 weeks said Minister of Works Baru Bian. The 50-year-old Lawas Hospital began operations on May 16, 1969 as a district hospital without any specialist and operates in destitute condition. The Lawas Hospital project has appointed a contractor through open tender via the Pre-Qualification (PreQ) process. The reason why it has been in decline since 2015 was because of direct negotiations and limited tenders. Baru Bian said that providing people-centric infrastructure is the focus of the federal government.
Gobind refutes Wee’s allegation that Opcom has been chosen for NFCP project
5 December 2019
The Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said that Opcom Holdings Berhad is not appointed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for any initiative funded through the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund for the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).
C4’s Press Statement: The “Business As Usual” Trends in Tender & Contract Awards Makes Pakatan Transparency Look Like a Hoax
27 November 2019
C4 is gravely concerned over recent news reports on how the trends in tenders and contract awards have transpired. This involved the support letter issued by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister to the Prime Minister and the Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali’s Secretive Dinner At His Residence.
RM1.4 bil agro project not meant to be open tender, says Anwar
26 November 2019
PKR president Anwar Ibrahim says the government’s RM1.4 billion padi tender which generated controversy recently was not supposed to be an open tender project and there is a rationale to make sure the profits will be given back to the poor farmers. This might indicate the possibility of sabotage in the agriculture ministry.
Ramkarpal: Morally wrong for ministers to award contracts
24 November 2019
DAP lawmaker and Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said it was clearly morally wrong for ministers to be giving out contracts, whether within or outside their jurisdictions. It would allow the interpretation of favouritism on the part of said ministers. Open tenders are meant to encourage transparency the bidding of contracts and promote competitiveness for the best performers. It is essential to stop corruption practices. He said that it was the Pakatan’s manifesto that carried weight to stop corruption. The misleading statement of Tun may allow ministers award contracts to their liking under their purview. He called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) not to be influenced by the PM’s views, and to strive to ensure that all efforts were taken to probe officials believed to be abusing their positions.
Salahuddin slammed for writing support letter for tender
23 November 2019
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub admitted he wrote to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in support of a RM1.4 billion tender be given to the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas). Negotiated tenders are not supposed to be allowed anymore, writing a support letter is interfering with the selection process.
Wee asks why Agri ministry gave RM1.4 bil project through direct negotiations
21 November 2019
The National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) has been awarded a padi farming project worth RM1.4 billion despite it losing out on the initial open tender. Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) claimed that a minister had made a request to the prime minister, in a letter dated Nov 7, 2019, for Nafas to be appointed for the project for a period of three years, from 2020 to 2022. The allocation of RM1.4 billion was from the RM1.55 billion allocated for subsidies and incentives in the padi and rice sub-sectors for 2020. Wee wanted Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub to explain why the companies chosen through open tender were neglected, with Nafas chosen instead through direct negotiations.
Pharmaniaga gets 5-year extension on MoH contract
19 November 2019
Pharmaniaga Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd (PLSB), has secured a five-year extension for its logistics and distribution services contract with the Ministry of Health (MoH). A month ago, the Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the government will not renew the group’s concession to distribute drugs and medical supplies to government hospitals when it ends on Nov 30, as the administration moves away from concessionaires towards an open tender system. His reasoning was to avoid disruptions in the supply chain as the government has not fully decided on the open tender mechanism.
C4’s note: In less than a month, the move away from concessionaires is halted because of disruption in the supply chain. A fully developed open tender mechanism should have been in place prior to the announcement to avoid extension of concessions. Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd continues to monopolise pharmaceutical supplies to public healthcare in Malaysia.
10 October 2019
Budget 2020 reveals several mega-projects in Penang, Selangor, Pahang, Kelantan, and Bandar Malaysia. Controversially, several of these projects only signed their development agreement hours before the budget.
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MOF to review all giant infrastructure projects with foreign countries
11 October 2019
The RM42 billion Melaka Gateway project was revived this week after early construction started in 2015. This project has been dubbed the “largest and most ambitious” of China’s Belt and Road initiative in Malaysia, where it is set to be Southeast Asia’s largest private marina, housing a maritime high-tech park and a free trade zone on four islands, two of which will be reclaimed land.
MACC to check on River of Life project allegations
10 October 2019 – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will look into the RM4.4 billion River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur. Latheefa Koya, MACC Chief Commissioner, will look into the project and will determine there is elements of fraud or graft in
ECRL project will continue as planned, says Dr M
20 September 2019 – Will the ERCL be a good value for money for the Rakyat? The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will continue as planned unless the company involved in the project can negotiate with China, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Review the practice of government procurement and tendering system
Education Ministry to review successful bidders’ bank statements after fakes found
1 December 2019
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has taken steps to evaluate forged bank statements submitted by bidders to avoid the manipulation in the procurement process since January 1, 2019 for three services namely security (PKK), janitorial (KBK) and supply of cooked food (BMB) for contracts starting from January 1, 2020. The service contracts of those involved have been ended and police reports have been lodged.
Review the processes to issue public-private partnership contracts by the Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS)
Relocate UKAS from PMD to MOF and revamp to check the powers of the Minister
Widen the use of information technology and online systems to eliminate individual and political influences in decision-making
Post online information about awarded contracts for public and civil society’s checking
Assist SMEs to access information on government tenders, so that they have equal opportunity to bid for suitable contracts
MED to host dialogue session with SMEs
7 January 2020
A dialogue session will be organised by the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED), through its agency SME Corporation Malaysia between its minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on January 21. The focus of the session is on accumulating suggestions and ideas on the national SME development programmes. MED repeated the government’s stance on enabling and helping with the growth of SME entrepreneurs. The government will place the products made by the Malaysian SMEs on priority in its procurement jointly with the country’s year-long Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 programme.