PETALING JAYA: Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng was the one who awarded the two projects worth over RM170mil under the Local Government and Housing Ministry (KPKT) without open tender, says Zuraida Kamarudin.
The minister said she had investigated the matter and could now confirm that it was Lim who approved the projects via direct negotiation without her knowledge.
"As promised, I have investigated and now announce what I have discovered.
"The projects awarded are Taman Beringin solid waste project (RM170,294,400.00) and the Century software accounting system (worth RM501,206.37).
"I now confirm that this direct negotiation was, in fact, directly taken up by the former minister of finance himself," she said in a statement on Friday (Aug 28).
Prior to this, Zuraida had said on Thursday (Aug 27) that she would investigate the matter as contracts for the two projects under her ministry were awarded without her knowledge.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz had recently revealed in Parliament that 161 contracts worth RM6.61 bil were awarded through 20 ministries via direct negotiations during the reign of the Pakatan Harapan government.
Zuraida said her findings contradicted claims made by Pakatan politicians that her ministry had initiated the direct negotiation of the Taman Beringin solid waste project.
She claimed that Tamrin Tun Ghafar, the adviser of the company involved, Bumi Segar Indah, met with Lim on Nov 28,2018.
"It was at this meeting that Lim discussed the re-negotiation of the project, and agreed to reduce the tipping fee cost at 10% less from the original cost, purportedly to save money for the government.
"Lim then advised Bumi Segar Indah to approach KPKT to present and follow up with a formal proposal.
"Subsequently, the project was approved by the Finance Ministry in a letter dated Feb 20,2019, addressed to the ministry's secretary-general.
"Likewise, the Century software project, involving five different ministries, was also approved by the Finance Ministry.
"I hope in future, Pakatan politicians and former ministers will check their facts before misleading the public," she said.
Zuraida was responding to PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution's claim that she was sleeping on her job when she said she was not aware of the contracts being awarded.