PENANG, Jan 31 – Some 70 per cent of two state firm’s open tenders have been won by Malay contractors, showing the community to be as competitive as others, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said today
He said Malay contractors won 16 out of 23 tender awards, or 70 per cent, from the Penang Development Corporation(PDC) and 44 out of 66 or 67 per cent of contracts issued by the Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang(PBAPP) in open tenders since Pakatan Rakyat took over Penang in March 2008.
“The performance by Malay contractors in an open tender system with non-Malays proves that Malay contractors can compete with others and win tender awards on their own merit,” Lim said in a statement today.
The DAP secretary-general has been advocating open tenders under his “Competency, Accountability and Transparency” (CAT) programme since becoming chief minister although Umno and Malay rights groups accuse him of sidelining the community.
“Clearly it is not the race that is an issue but failed policies that encourage dependency especially when it helps Barisan Nasional maintain the status quo and its grip on power,” he added, referring to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government.
Lim accused the BN of instituting policies that “stifles initiative, creativity, hard work, drive and productivity which benefited only the few BN cronies at the expense of entire country”.
“For instance, a 30 per cent quota of publicly listed shares were reserved for Malays but only a few benefited as many ordinary Malays never received shares from the Federal government,” he added.
But the chief minister expressed regret that there were allies within PR Penang “is aligned with BN in opposing efforts to implement an open tender system and CAT governance”, referring to Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, who had criticised his administration.
“We must remain steadfast as we are backed by results. The Penang state government has been able to turn a projected deficit of RM35 million in 2008 budget to a record surplus of RM88 million.
“A projected deficit of RM40 million in 2009 Budget has been turned around to record a surplus of RM77 million.
“In fact, the 2009 budget surplus would have been a record RM92 million were it not for the payment of RM14.7 million as a result of the Tang Hak Ju land scam of the previous administration,” he said.
[Source : The Malaysian Insider]
Guan Eng and his team must be doing something right. If I did not hear it first hand, I probably would not have believe it. I made regular business trips to Penang and during one such trip, I was taken to the hotel from Bayan Lepas Airport by a Malay taxi driver, who incidentally spoke impeccable English. After a few minutes in the cab, I decided to have a chat with the cabbie by asking how were things since the change over of the state government. He responded with a very big smile and a "Very good, Uncle, very good" reply. I asked him how so? Quickly, without hesitation, he told me his uncle, about a month ago, was awarded a tender worth half a million ringgit to install street lights at certain points in Penang and part of the bridge. Although it was one parcel of the project that was awarded to him, he was more than satisfied as during BN's time, his uncle could only dream about securing government projects. He further told me that his uncle need not have to deal with the main con anymore as tenders are now awarded direct to the 'E' and 'F' Class contractors. This was not the only case. At another time, another Malay cabbie too told me how one of his relatives, an 'E' Class contractor was also awarded a job by the state government. Like the subject read: UMNO say they can't, but LGE has proven that they can. To Guan Eng and his team, keep up the good job!