KUALA LUMPUR: Several opposition lawmakers have demanded that Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (pic) be referred to the Rights and Privileges committee over his claims that government projects given via direct negotiations under the Pakatan Harapan government did not receive the approval of the Cabinet.
This follows the Finance Ministry's move to release a list of 101 contracts worth RM6.61bil under Pakatan Harapan on Wednesday (Aug 26).
Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Kulim Bandar Baharu), a former cabinet minister, said after reviewing the list that he was confident that the projects were presented to the Cabinet.
"I'm confident that the accusation made by Gombak (Azmin) that the matter was not decided in Cabinet was to mislead the Dewan," he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Aug 27).
On Monday (Aug 24), during the debates, Azmin, who was also a minister during the Pakatan administration, interjected and said the list was not presented to the Cabinet.
Dr Maszlee Malik (IND-Simpang Renggam), also a former minister, concurred with Saifuddin, saying that Azmin's statement was misleading.
"Among the projects which was approved included a project under my ministry which was tabled and agreed, and this is against the statement made by Gombak," he said.
In reply, Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon urged Saifuddin to write a letter to the Speaker's office.
"I ask you to write a letter, so the Speaker can make a fair decision on it," said Mohd Rashid.
The Finance Ministry, however, stated there were five conditions where direct negotiations were permitted, including an urgent need where tenders could not be conducted immediately and compatibility issues.
The other conditions were that there was only one supplier of the product or service, that it involved security or strategic importance to the country, and where there's a bumiputra manufacturer had fulfilled all the requirements.
The Dewan Rakyat erupted when Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz claimed that Pakatan had awarded contracts through direct negotiations.
Tengku Zafrul’s revelation caused several Barisan Nasional, as well Perikatan Nasional lawmakers, to demand that the list of the projects be released.