‘Probe if there’s a reason’

TI-M: Authorities can go ahead if they suspect an offence

PETALING JAYA: Enforcement authorities can investigate any case if there is reason to believe some form of impropriety has occurred, says a graft watchdog.

Transparency International-Malaysia president Dr Muhammad Mohan said a probe could be initiated should the authorities suspect that an offence had occurred.

“Investigations can be made based on information available,” he said, citing Section 29(3) of the MACC Act 2009.

Muhammad Mohan agreed with the Prime Minister that Selangor’s Demand-Responsive Transit issue should be treated like any other case.

“This is sufficient and we should allow the authorities to do their job,” he added.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had earlier yesterday said the authorities should be allowed to investigate the issue which is linked to the Selangor government project and a company connected to Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh’s husband.

The Prime Minister had said that if there was a report, there should be an investigation and for it to be treated like any other case.

Meanwhile, the MCA Youth has taken positively the Prime Minister’s call for a probe to be carried out should there be a report lodged on the matter.

Its secretary-general Saw Yee Fung, however, pointed out that in November 2022, Anwar had said that if Pakatan Harapan won the 15th General Election (GE15), he would forbid his immediate family from being involved in any government projects.

“Although we have not seen the Prime Minister making a clear stand on the matter, we hope he will uphold the principles and promises on transparency and accountability governance,” she said.

A source linked to the Selangor state government maintained that there was nothing wrong in awarding the DRT services contract to Asia Mobiliti Technologies Sdn Bhd, a company founded in 2018 by Yeoh’s husband Ramachandran Muniandy, who is its chief executive officer.

The source said there was also a good reason as to why there was no open tender.

“An open tender is offered only if there are many potential companies that can do the job.

“But in this case, there were only two companies that had developed the DRT system and if you have an open tender, only one company will get the contract and the one that does not will just ‘die’,” added the source who declined to be named.

The same source, who is familiar with the DRT project, said the situation had blown up into a big mess because the state had failed to do proper crisis management, adding that the onus was on Selangor executive councillor Ng Sze Han to explain why there was no open tender.

“But instead, it was Asia Mobiliti which did the explaining and that further aggravated the matter,” the source said.

The source claimed that the awarding of the contract was “kosher”, and Ng should have invited the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the matter as part of a crisis management exercise.

“Ng should have also initiated the state’s select committee for competency, accountability and transparency (Selcat) hearing to further prove there was no wrongdoing in the appointment,” said the source.

Meanwhile, Gombak Setia assemblyman Hilman Idham has called for the award of the DRT contract to be cancelled to safeguard the interests of the people.

He said if the government was sincere in its principle of adhering to integrity and responsibility, it should review the implementation model of the DRT service.

Hilman said there were more experienced companies, including Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, which were capable of getting the Public Land Transport Agency (Apad) licence to implement the DRT service.

“A lesson should be learnt here, with priority being the Selangor people’s well-being as to ensure the government is not caught again in controversies such as the Selangkah app and insurance scheme,” he said.

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