Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Open Tenders?

This is getting really difficult to swallow. In 2004, Pak Lah specifically promised that all government contracts will be competitively tendered. Pak Lah told Malaysian business leaders that Kuala Lumpur needed to make the contract awarding process “transparent, with open tendering the norm”. I believed. Or rather, I so really wanted to believe, that Malaysia was going to undergo a period of positive change.

Over the past 2 years alone, major and significant contracts have been awarded without competitive tendering.

And I feel like such a sucker today.

I'm a fan of the KL Low-Cost Carrier Termainal (LCCT). But did you know that the RM280 million contract to build the terminal was granted to a listed company without calling for competitive bids?

As part of the 9th Malaysia Plan, UMNO-linked UEM World was awarded the estimated RM2-3 billion second bridge in Penang. Again, it's going to be a direct negotiation between the Government and the company, and no price has been fixed yet.

More recently, the Ministry of Works announced an unexpected RM400 million new palace for the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung. And surprise, surprise, the contract has been awarded to a certain “Maya Maju”, with no known expertise and experience in large-scale constrcutions. According to research by Maverick SM, Maya Maju (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd is privately owned dormant RM5 million paid up company with no revenue and only 2 shareholders. On what merits were they awarded the contract?

And today, I read in the Star that a RM600 million contract has been awarded to Projek Lintasan Shah Alam Sdn Bhd (PLSA) to connect the Kesas Kota Kemuning Interchange with the Federal Highway. PLSA is 90% owned by Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas), the concessionaire for the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur elevated highway. Once again, no open competitive tender for the Highway project?

Again, no one knows the terms of the contract with the concessionaire? And again, in years to come, we'll face annual exorbitant increase in toll charges due to unfair contracts which the Government would claim they can't do much about. Otherwise, as per Datuk Seri Samy Vellu's out-of-tune over-played recording, “the Government could not afford to compensate the concessionaires”.

Nobody is quibbling with the fact that many of these projects are indeed necessary and potentially beneficial for the Rakyat. However, in the interest of an efficient and productive economy, in the interest of transparency and integrity, and in the interest of the tax-payers' hard-earned money, where are the competitive open tenders promised for Government projects?

Pak Lah's promise of open tenders for Government projects have become an Open Season for UMNO cronies, particular for the much touted 9th Malaysia Plan projects. To quote the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Sdr Lim Kit Siang, 'The Prime Minister promised to walk the talk. I only hear the talking, where's the walk?'


Anonymous said...

PL has become the biggest liar of all time. His promises are nothing but a lie to deceive the people to vote him in during the last GE. People thought that PL will bring some fresheners after the TDM long reign barely after he was appointed as PM. Time passed, and he has already shown his 'ugly' face. We should have known what to do next.

Maverick SM said...


I am not sure why you are surprised. Since taking over from Dr M on 1st Nov 2003, there hasn't been even one open tender till today. I had been to the ministry and what transpired is that all those projects not awarded since the time of Mahathir's departure, the potential contractors aligned to Dr M was washed out and in comes the new coterie. However, some of them managed to get ONE middleman at Level 4 to pull strings back, and they did successfully. If you have friends who works in EPU, you will know why. Everything is decided by EPU (PM dept) and all projects had been earmarked and "allotted". This is nothing new. What PM did was continuity...continue to do what was done by his predecessor. However, the catch is: you got to know EPU topgun. They will match-make and they had the channels to do so, irrespective.

What is more interesting and amusing is the fact that PM said at that time that only critical projects will be implemented. Non critical projects like: Double-track railway, Penang 2nd Bridge, Istana Negara, Crooked-Bridge, Monorail in Penang, Putrajaya, and Johor, West-Coast Highway and many others are shelved indefinitely. However, you can read the news over the last two months to discover that everyone of them are to be implemented right away. Even Bakun and the undersea cable projects which was not approved by Mahathir had been launched. The pragmatic economic policies as envisaged were dumped into the monsoon drain and the gravy train runs at bullet speed. You know why? Dig the gold while the power is in hand. Come the next election, many things may happen. Apart from this, it's the frustration of the Bumi entrepreneurs who had decided to back Dr M. Now, that's history as they are back in fabour of the current regime. Leopard can't changed it's skin. Even a cat had changed to leopard skin.

Consider yourself lucky to be a successful businessman. If not, you too, need to seek the gravy train moderators. Everyday, on the road and the sidewalk, thousands of those project marketeers are at work, promoting and selling their products (projects) at discounts but with one condition - pay upfront in millions - and the project is yours... quite definite. If you have $5m to spare, I can introduce you too.

Anonymous said...

it reminds me of the Sykt. Teratai ( or Metramac ) case reported in the papers in early 2006 where the government took certain positions on the entire deal involving Metramac and DBKL some 15 years back and how UEM then with H.Saad were also involved because they enjoyed the patronage of offials in power.

It was reported that Metramac was then the concessionaire of the East West Expressway & Sg. Besi Expressway.

Anonymous said...

If not now, when..
If not us, who..
- Ron Reagan

Anonymous said...

I think Pak Lah is losing his grip on his cabinet or his opinion isn't considered influential enough. I was surprised to read today that Malaysia has a "Plantation Minister" (Peter Chin). Do we really need 32 ministers in the cabinet? For a comparison, US has only 21 secretaries or cabinet level personnel.

Is Pak Lah losing grip here? I hardly find him convincing whenever he has to reiterate that many people are still supporting him. If you are really big and powerful, you don't have to mention the obvious.

Anonymous said...

he is either having short memory.....or

Anonymous said...

I think Tony, like myself, was cheated by Pak Lah's innocent look.

The government is a dumb ass who only think for themselves.

I'm going to vote the opposition.

Anonymous said...

"Open tender 2003!"
"What is that?"

Anonymous said...

I will suggest uncle Lim take a back seat, and let other Personality, younger, to take FRESH lead for coming election!
New ICON counts, on chasing younger generation voters.