Anwar: Probe into transport contract must be transparent

Working together: MIFC Leadership Council chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar (front right) exchanging documents with Omar Shaikh, director of Islamic Finance Council UK, during the GFIEF event in Kuala Lumpur. Looking on are (from left) Amir Hamzah, Anwar and Treasury Secretary-General Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican. — ART CHEN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Any investigation into the Selangor state government’s award of a contract to a company linked to Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has to be done transparently, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“If there is a report, there should be an investigation and also due process. It must be treated like any other case. I have no issues with it,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the authorities should be allowed to do their jobs.

“Let the relevant authorities investigate. If there is a report made, then they should be transparent in their investigation,” he said when met after launching the Global Forum on Islamic Economics and Finance (GFIEF) event at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.

The state government has come under fire after awarding a demand responsive transit (DRT) contract to Asia Mobility Technologies Sdn Bhd, which is helmed by Yeoh’s husband.

The company was founded in 2018 by Yeoh’s husband, Ramachandran Muniandy, who is its chief executive officer, and Malaysiakini founder Premesh Chandran.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki has said there was no legal issue in the award of the contract to the company, as it was done by the state government and not by the minister or her ministry.

“There is no wrongdoing if a person receives a contract or any type of benefit from an agency or entity that is not related to them,” he said.

On a separate matter, Anwar gave an assurance that measures are in place following the announcement of the diesel subsidy rationalisation rollout.

“We have taken adequate measures,” he told reporters.

Anwar had been asked about concerns raised by food and beverage operators who wanted to know if they were eligible for the diesel subsidies, like public transportation service providers.

Last week, Anwar, who is Finance Minister, announced that the Cabinet had approved the start of a diesel subsidy rationalisation programme, which is expected to save the government around RM4bil annually.

The initiative will initially target users in Peninsular Malaysia, with 10 types of public transport vehicles – including buses and taxis – and 23 types of goods transport vehicles continuing to receive subsidies.

Asked if there had been requests to expand the scope of the subsidy programme, Anwar said such proposals can be made to the Transport Ministry and Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry.

He said the mechanism of the subsidy rationalisation would be announced by Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

On the possibility of the diesel price being floated following the rationalisation, Anwar also said that would be announced by Amir Hamzah.

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