Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Malay contractors call MCA racist, defend Penang government

August 02, 2011

In the past, MCA had accused the Penang administration under Lim Guan Eng of discriminating against the Malay community. – file pic
The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia’s (PKMM) Penang branch has defended the state’s open tender system as fair and warned Penang MCA to stop politicising contracts awarded to Bumiputeras there.

Acting Penang PKMM chief Datuk Izham Merican today condemned what he said was Penang MCA’s “ignorance” for failing to understand that open tenders allowed the state government to select the best and most competitively priced contractors, regardless of race.

“By only questioning contracts awarded to Malays, is MCA being racist towards the abilities of Malay contractors whom they regard as less competent than other contractors?” Izham said in a statement today.

“The Penang Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia strongly rejects MCA’s racist sentiment which insults Malay contractors ... MCA should remember that there are good and not-so-good groups in all races, including the Chinese.”

He pointed out that non-Bumiputeras were not sidelined even when contracts were given to Bumiputera companies as many suppliers and construction workers were non-Bumiputeras.

“Therefore, for every project offered by the (state) government to Bumiputera contractors in its own way also provides opportunities for other races,” he said.

Izham also heaped praise on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for his professionalism and willingness to help Penangites of all races, including Umno-dominated PKMM, despite criticism from “those who do not understand the state government’s policies”.

He added that the federal government should give greater assistance to contractors, many of whom were facing closure as the construction industry no longer provided as many opportunities for work as before.

In the past two weeks, Penang MCA has repeatedly accused the DAP-led state government of being anti-Chinese for awarding only two contracts in the past three years to Chinese contractors.

In its latest salvo today, the state MCA said the Penang government’s decision to award only 0.2 per cent of the 968 projects tendered since the opposition party took power in 2008 suggested that Lim thought the Chinese community “incompetent”.

Before this latest attack, the Penang administration under Lim has regularly been accused by Umno, MCA’s senior partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) pact, of being racist for allegedly discriminating against the Malay community.

[Source: The MI]

The fact is, I am quite happy that our Malay brethren are able to compete in an open tender system. This goes to show how wrong UMNO is for implying that the Malays need crutches to survive. LGE being an accountant knows how important it is to be financially prudent, and unless we have the best man for the job, the state will inadvertently suffer from inferior workmanship and financial loss. The above clearly show that the Malays are worth their salt and UMNO have better stop pulling the wool over the rakyat's eyes that they are unable to compete. Of course, to be fair, we also need to know the reasons for the small number of non-Malays who succeeded in securing projects from the state government.

However, in the usual blame game, UMNO accuses DAP for being anti-Malay and MCA accuses DAP for being anti-Chinese as a result of the open tender system issue. It is such a strange development that these two parties from the BN are contradicting one another. Going by their logic, then one can only assume that the Penang state government under the DAP must be doing something right. Think about it.

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