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10 APRIL 2024

Monday, August 31, 2020

YOURSAY | ‘As minister, Zuraida should at least take some responsibility’


YOURSAY | 'Saying I don't know, I did nothing, it's all Lim, makes you look bad on two counts.'
BusinessFirst: "It is at this meeting that (then finance minister) Lim (Guan Eng) not only discussed the re-negotiation of this project but agreed to reduce the tipping fee cost at 10 percent less from the original cost, purportedly to save money for the government," said Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
According to Zuraida, Lim then advised Bumi Segar to approach her ministry to present a formal proposal.
"Subsequently, the project was approved by the Finance Ministry under Lim by (a) letter dated Feb 20, 2019, from the Finance Ministry to the Housing and Local Government chief secretary," she added.
However, Zuraida, your statement shows that you do have issues with logical thinking. First, it confirms there was already a contract before Lim even came on board. 
Second, by your admission, Lim discussed with them a reduction in the fees to save money. If there was a reduction in fees, then why is it "purported" to save money for the government.
If the government is charged less, of course, you are saving money for the government. It is obviously not "purported".
Third, they did present a final proposal to the ministry. Herein lies the rub, did you agree? Did you as a minister have any issues with it? It is not as if Lim did everything behind your back. Did you say "hey, we can save some more money… this is how"?
Obviously, you were satisfied with the deal. If you were satisfied with the deal, and it is your ministry, you own this. If you have no comments then, of course, the Finance Ministry will approve it and allows it to proceed.
This is part of the RM790 million savings that Pakatan Harapan made in legacy BN projects.
By way of an analogy, you agreed to buy a house for RM2 million. The agent helps you to negotiate a 10 percent discount. You were presented by a new deal for RM1.8 million, saving RM200,000.
Do you mean to tell me that you did not sign off on the deal when this was presented to you? You were silent. Come on, we were not born yesterday.
If no one signs off, how can it then "Subsequently, the project was approved by the Finance Ministry under Lim by (a) letter dated Feb 20, 2019, from the Finance Ministry to the Housing and Local Government chief secretary,"
Obviously, your ministry sent the finalised deal to the Finance Ministry to sign off.
Look, I do not think anyone is alleging "dishonesty" in this deal per se. But YB (yang berhormat) as "menteri", with respect, you fall far short.
The then finance minister negotiated a discount for you. Then after that, the whole deal was sent to you for review. Are you so lazy and irresponsible not to take an interest in it when the deal was represented to you?
If you accepted that Lim had helped save money, why not be gracious enough to say, "Yes, I saw the deal and approved it because it was a good deal."
Saying I don't know, I did nothing, it's all Lim, really makes you look bad on two counts. First, the ingratitude in not acknowledging the good that others have done for you.
Second, your commitment and competence as a minister. For if you did not take any interest in a RM170 million deal, then what, pray tell, are you interested in? How does ignoring this mega-deal gel with your narrative that you jumped ship to "save Malaysia".
Personally, if you do not quit, I think you should not stand for re-election. You are objectively unsuited to be a minister as you do not seem to have your priorities right. I put aside issues of morality and honesty for a later time and forum.
DalvinK: Zuraida, a few crucial points that you failed to explain:
1) Did Finance Ministry initiate the request to directly award the project? And why?
2) Are you saying the Finance Ministry randomly picked a project for the Housing and Local Government Ministry, and subsequently, directly awarded the project to Bumi Segar Indah Sdn Bhd? Why didn't you stop it, as your department should be in charge of the project?
3) You were at the press conference at Project Site of the Beringin Park, Jinjang, Kepong in December 2019. But you claimed you were not aware of the project was approved. What were you doing there?
To me, the Finance Ministry can, of course, be involved in negotiating the cost of the project because it involves finance. But initiating the project for another department, and to request that project to have direct tender - I don't think the Finance Ministry should be doing that.
If they had done that without your knowledge, I can still claim that you were sleeping on your job.
Sayonara MY: First, Zuraida said she has no knowledge of the direct negotiation, and now suddenly she can explain every step of the deal, including the name of the company that went to see the finance minister, the 10 percent reduction in tipping charges negotiated by the finance minister, and that the finance minister was asking the company to send her a formal proposal.
Suddenly, everything came back to her so clearly after evidence showed her at the solid waste disposal station (which she denied knowledge of) was circulated to the public.
One: One by one, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ministers are making fools of themselves. Instead of working for the rakyat, they now expose the fact that they don't know what is going on in their ministries.
Perhaps they are too busy plotting their treacherous moves?
Doc: Was Zuraida pleading the same infamous former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak defence "I was stupid and ignorant" for what was happening in my own ministry?
Or was it the "when caught red-handed doing something wrong, blame Lim Guan Eng and DAP" defence. - Mkini

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