Wednesday 3 August 2011

Bumi contractors back Guan Eng, slam 'racist' MCA

The Penang branch of the Malay Contractors Association (PKMM) has lambasted MCA for stoking racial sentiments by questioning the open tender system which has seen bumiputeras winning contracts from the state government.

NONEActing head Izham Merican said the party is ignorant of the workings of an open tender system, in reference to state MCA Wanita chief Tan Cheng Liang (right) remarks that labelled Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as anti-Chinese.

Izham explained that the system allows all contractors to bid for a government project, including those worth more than RM200,000.

The state then selects the contractor who quotes the most reasonable price and the best quality of work, he said.

"By questioning the awarding of the contracts to Malays, is MCA being racist? Is it insulting the ability of Malay contractors who it thinks is not on par or as competent as other contractors?" he asked in a statement.

Lim has been caught in a tug-of-war between BN component parties over his administration's policies.

The MCA yesterday criticised against Lim for awarding only two (or 0.2 percent) out of 968 projects worth RM125 million to non-bumiputeras under the open tender system.

Prior to this, Umno had accused Lim for marginalising the Malays, with several of its sponsored NGOs having protested against his "anti-Malay" attitude.
azlanIn a light-hearted response last night, Lim (left) told the two parties to "make up their minds" as to whether he is “anti-Chinese or anti-Malay".

"Both of you - MCA and Umno - are in the same party, aren't you? You mean you cannot agree on this?" he asked jokingly.

"Actually I am only anti-corruption. But the BN is scared we are fighting against this because a clean government can perform better.”

Izham also said PKMM, established in 1975, strongly rejects MCA's "racist" approach and that its "negative perception" has insulted the Malay contractors.

He conceded that the open tender system practised by the state government is "fair and does not marginalise" any community.

He applauded Lim for his professionalism and for not allowing his political leanings to interfere with his job.

Lim's openness applauded

PKMM members also appreciate the fact that Lim does not require contractors to obtain the approval of party branch leaders before bidding for a project, as has been the practise in the past.

"He has not marginalised the bumiputera community in the construction industry. As a leader, he is open, although he is being constantly criticised by certain quarters who do purposely do not want to understand the state policies," said Izham.

"I want to remind others that the issue of awarding contracts to the bumiputera community should not be policitised or be turned into a racial issue."

As a NGO, whose members are mainly from Umno, PKMM's struggles are focused on improving the lot of Malay contractors, he said.

Many contractors have been out of work as the industry is not as robust as it was once.

Whenever Malay contractors are awarded state projects, suppliers and workers who are non-Malays are also provided opportunities to work.

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