Sunday, January 11, 2009

Open and Clear Corruption

Malaysiakini -
The federal government today awarded a whopping RM15.8 million worth of small infrastructural projects today to 583 class-F contractors through a computerised ‘bidding’ system.

The contracts were awarded to Terengganu-based contractors through the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) at a function at the Wisma Darul Iman, Kuala Terengganu.

At the function, the contractor or a representative would be invited on stage to prompt a computer (right) to randomly select a project for the company. The nature and value of the project would then appear on a big screen.

All the projects - worth between RM30,000 and RM200,000 - were limited to the Kuala Terengganu district.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who officiated the event, said that the event today was a ‘world record’ where every participant was able to obtain a contract.

"In this lucky draw, everyone wins. Everyone gets a contract," he said.

Najib said that the computerised system was the most transparent and proudly noted that the system was designed by a Terengganu-born.

"We will consider bigger projects in subsequent phases for contractors who get small projects this time. In this way, we can ensure that the people stand to benefit while the contractors are able to earn an income and the economy continues to grow," he said.

The contracts distributed this morning were among a slew of goodies being handed to Kuala Terengganu residents so far ahead of the impending by-election for this parliamentary constituency on Jan 17.

Opposition cries foul

Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa criticised Barisan Nasional for only improving the district ‘s infrastructure during a by-election campaign period.

"Why only are roads being tarred now? Why are there goodies being given to the voters only now?

"The message they are sending is that you must vote for me because I tarred your roads and gave your kids lap tops," he said.

"Maybe in the past, the rakyat could be hoodwinked by this ‘instant’ projects [...] it is the right of the people to have good infrastructure. The question is why are they receiving it only now?" he added.

Nasharuddin was speaking during PAS’ daily press conference at the party headquarters in Batu Burok this morning.

At another press conference, PKR information chief Tian Chua urged the government not to use public funds to fish for votes.

"Don’t wait for an election. Give it as a right. In Selangor and Perak, we don’t give land before an election. We announce it long before," he said.

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