PETALING JAYA: Direct negotiation deals were necessary to expedite work for emergency projects, says Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (pic).
Thus, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should not consider all projects awarded through direct negotiation tenders as irregular and that there were parties taking advantage of the deals, he said.
The PAS deputy president, who was the environment and water minister under former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's administration, said this in a statement Tuesday (Dec 6) to defend the ministry's decision to award flood mitigation projects through a direct tender process.
"As the Finance Minister, I am sure he (Anwar) knows that direct negotiations for flood mitigation projects that needed to be expedited were not a procurement error.
"In addition to the water and environment ministry, all regulatory processes of financial procedures must be strictly scrutinised in accordance with procedures and guidelines set by the Finance Ministry.
"He (Anwar) knows that many emergency projects need to be expedited to reduce bigger disasters and more losses.
"It must be done through direct negotiations or selected tenders, especially those involving disasters such as floods, dam breaks, landslides and others," said Tuan Ibrahim.
However, he emphasised that these must comply with the established financial procedures.
Earlier on Tuesday (Dec 6), Anwar said RM7bil out of RM15bil that has been approved for flood mitigation initiatives will be put on hold pending a full review of contracts that had been awarded through direct negotiations, for possible procedural breaches.
The previous administration had announced a Flood Mitigation Plan worth RM15bil until 2030 as a long-term strategy to adapt to climate change facing the country.