PETALING JAYA: The RM450mil Federal Multipurpose Building project in Tunjong, Kelantan was awarded through direct negotiations by the Pakatan Harapan government, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The MCA president said the project was initially cancelled by the Pakatan government when it took power last May, but was revived by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng under the instructions of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In the Facebook posting, Wee also attached a purported image of a letter by the project's developer PDM Builders Sdn Bhd, thanking Dr Mahathir for approving the project through direct negotiations.
"As soon as Pakatan took over Putrajaya, they have announced the cancellation of many projects, particularly the ones which hadn't begun construction.
"In short, the project was cancelled. Then Dr Mahathir wrote a letter asking Lim to approve the project through direct negotiations," he said in a Facebook posting on Saturday (Sept 21).
"Is this Barisan Nasional's fault again?" he questioned.
At the same time, Wee also took a swipe at Pahang DAP secretary Lee Chin Chen for challenging him to lodge reports to the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak for approving the project in 2016.
"The letter with Dr Mahathir's handwriting, which was exposed, clearly showed that the method of acquisition of the project under the Barisan administration was through limited tender.
"It was not approved through direct negotiations as agreed by Lim in the letter because the earlier project was already cancelled.
"The issue here is, Pakatan used to be so adamant on implementing the process of open tender. So, what's the story here now?" he asked, attaching excerpts from Pakatan's manifesto stating that big projects should not be awarded through direct negotiations.
He also quoted Dr Mahathir as saying on Sept 19 that the government did not deny the need to have direct negotiations for certain acquisitions.
"So how are Lee, Lim and DAP to respond to Dr Mahathir's remarks?"
Wee also questioned why the "Bangunan Gunasama Persekutuan Kota Baru" project, cancelled after the 14th General Election, was suddenly revived through direct negotiations.
"Who has such a strong political influence to revive a cancelled project?" he asked.
The letter, dated July 26,2019, is said to have been faxed to a senior officer in the Prime Minister's Department, and apparently refers to a letter sent by the Prime Minister on July 9.
According to the letter, the Finance Minister agreed for a company to be appointed through direct negotiation to construct a "Bangunan Gunasama Persekutuan Kota Baru" for the price of RM450mil.
An officer from the government's procurement section allegedly signed the letter.
A news portal reported that Lim had denied signing the letter and that he would discuss the matter with Dr Mahathir.
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