Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hanky-Panky With Alam Flora Contracts?

The DAP views the expose by MBPJ councillor, A Thiruvenggadam, alleging that the state divides Alam Flora's waste management contracts to political parties - 40 percent to PKR, 30 percent to PAS and 30 percent to DAP as reported in Malaysiakini a few days ago with grave and serious concern.

I've issued a press statement with regards to the above with regards to the issue, but it wasn't picked up by Malaysiakini. PKR Vice-President R Sivarasa had a response to the issue (which is not the position of the DAP) which is published yesterday.

The Selangor State Executive Council must immediately investigate the veracity of these claims which poses serious credibility threats to the Pakatan Rakyat state government. We would like to call upon the executive councillor for infrastructure and public amenities, Datuk Dr Hassan Mohd Ali, who is in-charge of Alam Flora waste management services to confirm or deny the allegations.

The allegations, if true, will put us on a slippery slope to become a Government which condones on patronage and cronyism, no different from Barisan Nasional. If the allegations are however, found to be false or misguided, then Thiruvenggadam must apologise for his allegations.

The DAP strongly condemns any move which condones patronage politics where politicians get to decide the contractors get the jobs for public services contracts. We are firm in our belief that these contracts must be tendered to all qualified parties in an open, transparent and competitive manner. Only then will the rakyat receive the best quality services at the lowest possible prices.

The DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat Government in Penang has taken great pains to ensure that politicians are not put in a position to indulge in patronage politics which promotes corruption and nepotism. Even in the face of strong political opposition within the Pakatan Rakyat component parties to reserve plum positions such as MPSP or MPPP president's post, the Penang government has stuck to its guns to promote worthy civil servants instead. This serves to ensure that our policy of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) is not only preached, but practised.

Hence, regardless of the allegations, the Selangor Government must dismiss any lingering suspicions over the manner in which sub-contracts by Alam Flora are “allocated” by announcing implementation of a competitive tender, even if it's limited to Class F contractors, to ensure that corruption and cronyism will not take root under Pakatan's administration, and the rakyat receives the best deal.

As such, we disagree with the position taken by Sivarasa today who said "...we see nothing wrong in different parties recommending names, individuals recommending names or the parties themselves recommending names. But the fact that all the three parties recommend names, shows the work will be spread out. "

Political parties have no position, business or role in putting forward names of preferred contractors for the purposes of municipal council contracts.
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