Sunday, 9th Jan 2010
The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia, which has in the past accused Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration of marginalising Malay businesses, apologised to him today through a delegation to his office here.
The association’s deputy president Datuk Mohammed Fadzill Hassan, who headed the delegation of about a dozen members, personally tendered his apology to the state government.
He said they wished to cooperate and work along with the administration. Lim responded by describing the new outcome as a "positive turn of events".
"I hope we can start a new relationship based on facts and not emotion," he said.
Lim stressed that accusations that Malay contractors were sidelined under the current Pakatan Rakyat government were untrue.
"Malay contractors are able to perform very well, as most of those who have won contracts under the state’s open tender policy are Malays," he said.
He said that previously, companies won contracts with the state government because of political connection, but now under the Pakatan Rakyat administration, contracts were issued on merit, with considerations given to quality and best pricing.
It is understood that the delegation had also spoken to Lim about retracting the names of 49 contractor members listed in a circular by Lim’s office to all department heads in the state government.
Lim said the state had not blacklisted the any company.
"We only want to ensure that all government contractors are competent and qualified, and not cronies of anyone," he said at a press conference before the closed-door meeting with the delegation.
In one of his last attacks on Lim in December last year, Mohammed Fadzill, who is also the association's Penang branch chairman, had alleged that Malay contractors were awarded only state projects of insignificant value.
Lim had responded by showing records that Malay contractors had been given 94% of the state’s Public Works Department (PWD) contracts and all the state’s Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) projects.
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