Reports by HEMANANTHANI SIVANANDAM, MARTIN CARVALHO, RAHIMY RAHIM and TARRENCE TAN
“As of to date, I have not approved any direct negotiations (contracts).
“We have learned from the mistakes of the previous administration and will not repeat such mistakes,” he said when winding up his ministry’s replies on issues raised during debates on Budget 2019.
Dr Maszlee was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) if he had approved or agreed for two million tablets for the eBooks programme to be supplied through direct negotiations.
“The issue was raised in the Chinese media by Ayer Hitam (Dr Wee) and I have no idea if it is connected to the previous administration or the present one.
“If it is the new administration, it must be done through open tender,” Dr Maszlee said.
Dr Wee said he raised the issue based on what was reported by the media on Oct 26 that the Education Ministry would introduce eBooks next year.
He said Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah was then reported to have said on Oct 30 that there would be flexibility to allow contracts to be given out through direct negotiations.
“That is why there was widespread news on whether there are two systems in approving the two million tablets under the eBooks programme. That is why I am asking the minister if this is true or not,” said Dr Wee.
Dr Maszlee denied the claims and reiterated that awarding all projects under the Education Ministry must be by way of open tender.
On allocation to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, he assured Dr Wee that the government would be allocating RM5.5mil for two development projects next year.
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