Chief Minister to meet MACC soon on ensuring graft-free tenders

Chief Minister to meet MACC soon on ensuring graft-free tenders
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Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The Sarawak government welcomes the advisory from the national anti-corruption body to find the best solution to prove that the open tender process and project award committee in the state is free from corruption and bribery.

Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Dr Abang Johari Tun Openg told Borneo Post Online they will meet with Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) soon.

“We will meet with MACC soon to seek advice,” he replied via WhatsApp message.

Johari was asked to comment on MACC Sarawak director Razim Mohd Noor’s recent statement saying that MACC Sarawak may not be able to sit in the tender board meeting as it could risk the anti-corruption agency’s neutrality will be questioned.

Razim also said he will briefed by the Chief Minister and make suggestions on how best to deal with the situation.

Abang Johari in his winding up speech recently, announced that the Sarawak government will invite the Auditor-General and anti-graft officials to attend its project award and tender meetings.

“I will include the Auditor-General to sit in our project award committee under the state tender board chaired by the state financial secretary.

“And I will also invite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to attend our state tender meetings,” he told the state assembly in his winding-up speech on Wednesday (Nov 14).

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali explained that Sarawak has nothing to hide and wants to establish good governance by bringing in the watchdog into the tender meetings.

“We wanted the MACC to be involved because the opposition was painting an image that we are corrupt. So Chief Minister was thinking of bringing in the MACC and auditor general,” she said.

Hasidah said the MACC should not be worried about whether or not their integrity may be compromised by joining the meeting if they are serious about wanting to fight graft and prevent abuse of power.

“This is about trying to see that things are done right from the start. I don’t see any problem that they are involved in the meeting. If MACC is there, they can have a say, this is wrong, this is right,” she said.

Hasidah said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is now facing opposition coalitions who are bent on attacking the government’s integrity by waging a perception war.

“We are facing an opposition that is trying to create a very bad picture of the government now, especially the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is a very clean person.

“The opposition is trying to create a false perception that the GPS government is corrupt.

“Since that is so, and to ensure that things are proper, right from the start, that is why we are asking MACC to join us in the tender meeting,” Hasidah said.

Hasidah also stressed that Chief Minister has always says that all contracts must be open tender as Sarawak will be implementing many development projects soon.

“The CM has stressed that from now on, everything must go through open tenders, except maybe some very specialised project,” Hasidah explained.

Hasidah hopes the MACC will be able to be involved in the tender board meetings and help the government to check procedures, stop what is wrong and make suggestions if necessary.

“If the MACC really wants to fight corruption, they must be willing to sit in the tender board meeting. Help us to check, whether the process is right from the start and to make sure there is no (power) abuse right from the start, as we are going to implement many many projects for the benefit of the Rakyat now.” she concluded.

[Source: “Chief Minister to meet MACC soon on ensuring graft-free tenders” published by BorneoPost Online]

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