Then I asked him about contracts. How is the contract situation in Penang. He says that contracts are harder to get now because all contracts are subject to open tender. So, then I told him, the core of his hate towards DAP stems from DAP’s open tender policy. That, if DAP were to start awarding his company directly like during the UMNO days, he would turn into a staunch DAP supporter overnight?
He kept quiet. There was a dead silence for a few seconds. Then, I continued saying that Malays are always looking for easy out. I told him that the DAP open policy is to ensure that future generations of Malays in Penang will have the opportunity to bid for contracts rather than inheriting a bangkrupt and dilapidated State.
Direct Awards are expensive, costing the state millions unnecessarily and encouraging unproductive Malays to make easy money without creating a multiplying effect on the economy. With open tender, the start of the policy will be difficult but in time it will create a lot of productive Malay entrepreneur which in turn will create more economic opportunities for Malays in general. In the long run, more Malays benefit from the Open Tender policy of DAP.
And I summed up by saying UMNO should stop making stupid issues against the DAP and come clean with the fact that their rank and files (which are mostly contractors) HATES the Open Tender policy of DAP to the guts. All that they are bringing up against DAP Penang administration are just smoke screen to hide the fact that they hate the Open Tender policy to their guts.
And, UMNO contractors are suffering right now because they were never efficient and productive all this while and they survive and thrived by bleeding the Penang state dry with their direct awards contracts.
I told my friend that he should stop yapping and start looking for ways to improve his efficiency and productivity. That will be a better service to the Malays as compared to complaining about things which is unfounded and stupid. That is IF HE REALLY CARES ABOUT THE MALAYS, and not himself more.
Geronimo's Take : During one of my business trips to Penang, there was this Malay taxi driver who chatted away with me about how excited his uncle was when he received news he was successful in a tender bid to install lighting system along the bridge which was worth ringgit half a mil. He went on to say that if it has been the BN government, his uncle would have just kept on dreaming about obtaining any job from the state government. He added that even if a Malay was to get a job, it would be on a sub-con basis which would result in his income being far less as a big chunk of payout has to be made to the A Class contractors. This was the second happy story I heard ever since PR took over the state. The first one was also told to me by another Malay taxi driver whose relative was successful in a tender bid concerning waste disposal.