KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has adhered to all procedures needed for approving drug supply contracts, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Health Minister said the ministry had no power to probe any corrupt practices as that was under the purview of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“We have been following the SOP (standard operating procedure) and procurement guidelines set by the Finance Ministry.
“I am not defending or protecting any wrongdoings.
“Everything is transparent and clear,” he said.
Dr Dzulkefly said a task force comprising his ministry, Transport and Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministries, and headed by Economics Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was set up to investigate procurement issues.
“The task force has little issue with Pharmaniaga compared with other concessionaires,” he said.
Pharmaniaga is the concessionaire for the Approved Product Purchase List (APPL) of drugs.
“We are open for scrutiny or critique but Pharmaniaga has improved its value-added services over the years,” he said after launching the Malaysian Medical Device Expo 2018 on Tuesday.
Asked on the procedures for non-APPL procurement, he said they too were above board.
“For non-APPL, foreign pharmaceutical companies can participate in the open tender process but they must use a local bumiputra tendering agent.
“If there are any allegations of corruption, let the authorities investigate.
“So far, the MACC has not come out with any statement,” he said, adding that the Malaysia Competition Comm-ission (MyCC) would investigate if there were elements of monopoly.
On Saturday, Klang MP Charles Santiago urged the Health Ministry to make public its investigations into the alleged control of billions of ringgit worth of medical supplies.
The Star carried a report on June 13 on the allegations, in which a whistleblower provided details of high-ranking officials and companies linked to politicians said to possess control over billions of ringgit worth of medical supply to the ministry.
A document sent to the Health Minister claimed that there was bid-rigging of the open tender process, enabling the monopoly of medical supply.
Separately, Health secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min said Santiago was free to engage with the ministry for clarification and to check with the MACC and MyCC if there were any integrity, mismanagement or monopoly issues involved.