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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, February 22, 2024

MACC records ex-finance minister’s statement over Spanco deal

 


The MACC has recorded a former finance minister’s statement over corruption allegations related to a government vehicle fleet project worth RM4.5 billion, according to its chief commissioner Azam Baki.

Although he did not name the person, Azam said he had served in the government administration from 2020 to 2021.

Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz served as finance minister from 2020 to 2022 under both the Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri Yaakob administrations.

At present, the former banker is the international trade and industry minister.

According to Bernama, Azam said the former finance minister was summoned to explain the awarding of contracts for the supply and management of government vehicles to Spanco Sdn Bhd, the sole concessionaire for supplying and maintaining government vehicles.

“We will call anyone, including former prime ministers and former ministers involved in authorising the project.

“Many witnesses have already been called, except for the former prime minister. I leave it to the investigators to decide when (if necessary) to call him,” he added.

Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz

Most recently, MACC summoned over 20 witnesses to assist in the investigation of the case on Feb 6.

When asked whether there is a political agenda for the Spanco issue, Azam stated that as the MACC chief commissioner, he is responsible for carrying out his duties based on legal obligations, complaints, and allegations received by his office.

“For now, it is my responsibility that anything given (as a complaint) to us will be investigated,” he added.

In January, the media reported that the MACC would investigate the involvement of certain individuals in the government concerning allegations of corruption in the procurement and management of the government’s vehicle fleet.

MACC had also raided the residence of a businessperson, with the honorific title Tan Sri, in connection with the case.

Contract for govt vehicles

Spanco, established in 1988, is the largest independent provider of fleet management solutions in Malaysia. In 1993, it was awarded a 25-year concession agreement with the government.

After the agreement ended in 2019, the government initiated an open tender of the contract to supply, maintain, and manage its fleet of official vehicles for the next 15 years.

In the same year, Berjaya Group and Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd formed a consortium to bid for the lucrative contract.

Last year, Berjaya founder Vincent Tan filed a suit against the Finance Ministry and Spanco.

Tan said the consortium received a Letter of Intent (LOl) from the Finance Ministry to replace fleet management provider Spanco.

He claimed the LOI was terminated unfairly before the actual award was set to be announced.

“(The government) terminated our LOI and gave the tender to Spanco Sdn Bhd. Our tender was RM700 million cheaper than Spanco," he said.

“(The government) terminated our LoI and gave the tender to Spanco Sdn Bhd. Our tender was RM700 million cheaper than Spanco," he said.

Questioning the rationale behind the government forking out the extra sum, he said: "Maybe the new government thinks that Berjaya and Naza are not good enough in the car maintenance business or the car business.”

It was reported that proposals were received from at least seven companies, which included Sime Darby Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, Samling Group, Comos and Go Auto. - Mkini

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