KUALA LUMPUR: The names of companies bidding for big government projects should be kept anonymous so that tenders can be awarded solely on the company's capability and track record, said Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
This is the guiding principle in awarding tenders for big projects in the country, said Mr Anwar at the Malaysian Real Estate And Housing Developers Association (REHDA) 50th Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday night (Mar 15).
Mr Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said that during the tender committee’s meeting on Wednesday, he told the committee that the names of companies bidding for government projects should not be made known.
“Just company A, B, C. We decided that decisions should be made purely based on the capabilities, track record and financial capabilities,” national agency Bernama quoted Mr Anwar as saying.
He said that blind tenders would ensure that the projects would be awarded to the most qualified firms.
Mr Anwar said that he had adopted the method when deciding on a tender earlier, adding that the selection was based on their capabilities, track record and financial standing.
He also said that a transparent tender awarding process is necessary to fight corruption which is now labelled as being endemic in the country.
Mr Anwar added that it takes courage and determination to change it.
He gave an example of tenders for projects such as Jana Wibawa, which he said could be awarded to Bumiputera companies through a selective process but that process must be transparent too.
The Jana Wibawa programme was an economic generation project during Malaysia’s COVID-19 movement control order under the government of former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
The programme which was meant as a stimulus aid package to help Bumiputera contractors has been under investigation by Malaysia’s anti-graft agency after Mr Anwar found in his capacity as finance minister that high-expenditure projects, including Jana Wibawa, did not go through a tender process.
Three Bersatu’s leaders have claimed trial in connection to the Jana Wibawa case, including Muhyiddin Yassin, former Bersatu information chief and Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament Wan Saiful Wan Jan as well as businessman and Segambut Bersatu division deputy chief Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad.
As part of his clampdown on corruption, Mr Anwar told the country’s civil servants in November last year that approvals for government procurement can no longer be given without a tender process.
He stated that the government under his leadership will not allow for financial leakages and corruption to continue, adding that the image of the civil service must be restored.