Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Khalid ends 'direct negotiation' contracts

SHAH ALAM: Jun 3, 2008 By V. Shankar Ganesh

Direct negotiations for Bumiputera tenders in Selangor will be abolished with immediate effect so there will be no monopolies.

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the decision was made because 98 per cent of contracts during the previous administration were given through direct negotiations to only a few selected companies.

"I noticed that previously, although contracts were given to different companies, the shareholders were the same people," he said after opening the annual general meeting of a group of Selangor Bumiputera entrepreneurs here yesterday.

Khalid said he was prepared to reveal the list of companies that had received government projects, but it may take time as there were certain procedures to be followed.

He, however, reassured contractors who had previously received many projects through direct negotiations that they would not be blacklisted.

"But this does not apply to those who failed to complete their projects in the given time."

Khalid said blacklisting all the companies was not a good idea but the government would study the value of the projects given to these companies.

Earlier in his speech, Khalid said he would not be using the so-called "all-powerful pen" to approve any projects or to give the green light to chose a particular contractor.

This "pen", said to belong to the menteri besar, refers to the act of the menteri besar putting his signature to documents, thereby asking his officers to approve it.

"Bumiputera contractors can no longer come to my office to get supporting letters for them to get projects. There is no need to see me as I have thrown away this 'pen'."

He said the state would continue to help Bumiputera contractors but they need to compete between themselves and the contractor with the best capabilities and experience would get the job.

Khalid said all executive councillors and high-ranking officers involved in policy-making could also make decisions on certain issues.

On another matter, the menteri besar said the state would appoint foreign experts to carry out a more detailed study to ensure the pig farm project in Sepang was carried out without negative impact to the environment.

He said he would be asking for help from foreign universities to undertake the study and the results, including the project's true cost, size, number of farmers and pigs, would be made public.

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