It wasn’t signed by me, LGE said on direct negotiation project

16 Sep 2019 / 17:21 H.

PETALING JAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) has denied giving approval for a company to be awarded a RM450 million construction project in Kota Baru, Kelantan, through direct negotiation.

He said the approval letter, purportedly issued by his ministry, was not signed by him and that he needed to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before commenting.

“If it was signed by me, at least there is some basis to it. But it could have been signed by so many other officials. Do you know how many staff there are in the ministry?

“Please be reasonable. Let me discuss the matter with the prime minister first,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SDVP) organised by the Internal Revenue Board (IRB), here, today.

The letter dated July 26, 2019 was supposedly sent to a senior officer in the Prime Minister’s Department. It allegedly claimed that the Finance Minister has agreed for the company to be appointed on a direct negotiation to implement the project in Kota Baru.

The letter, which was purportedly signed by a senior member of the Finance Ministry, said it referred to a previous letter sent by the Prime Minister dated July 9, 2019, for the design and build project.

After it went viral on the social media on Sunday, Mahathir responded by saying he would check on the claim as he was not aware of it.

He did not dismiss the possibility that the direct negotiation could have been a continuation from the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

“I don’t know, I never approved anything. But I have to check on this. Maybe they got it last time, maybe it is a continuation. I don’t know which case this is,“ he said.

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