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Press Statement (2) by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 16th January 2008:

Urges opening up of all government contracts, projects and procurement to both bumi and non-bumi contractors based on public and open tender

DAP express surprise that the announcement by MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting that the Finance Ministry has opened up government procurement of items valued below RM 50,000 to both bumi and non-bumi companies/suppliers was not published in the English and Malay press. Before that only items below RM 10,000 can be procured from any company/supplier regardless if it is registered with the Ministry of Finance or not, or if it holds or does not hold Bumiputera status.

The announcement was published on the front-page of all Chinese newspapers but not a word was published in the Malay and English press. Even the MCA-owned The Star newspaper did not carry the news by their MCA President. DAP condemns the failure to publish by the non-Chinese media and wonders whether this is a sign of disappearing freedom of the press?

By changing only this directive before the general elections, this is one of those political goodies to be distributed BN to buy votes and win over voters in the Chinese community. DAP hopes that the BN government does not treat non-bumi voters, especially the Chinese community, as “political beggars” that can be bought and sold cheaply with these political goodies.

Malaysians and the Chinese community are seeking fundamental changes of free, fair and open government procurement at all levels, not just items valued below RM 50,000 but also those above RM 50,000 as well. There should be no limit placed upon government procurement by non-bumi companies as long as they are all Malaysians.

DAP also asks why is non-bumi contractors are still not allowed to bid and tender for government contracts. By barring non-bumi contractors from bidding for government projects, both MCA and the BN government is practicing discriminatory policies that creates first and second/third or fourth class citizenship.

The time has come to end such discrimination of government procurement, government contracts and projects at all levels. By doing this small and limited step only before the general elections to buy votes, what is there to stop the Finance Ministry from cancelling such a directive after they have won votes? There should be a general and complete policy departure from the New Economic Policy favouring bumi companies only and not piecemeal micro-changes before general elections to buy votes.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General


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