Commentary and Analysis

Latest Breaking News

Latest Videos

Your Ad Here

Deputy Finance Minister roasted alive in Parliament today - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Second Deputy Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop promised to look into the concerns raised on the government's RM11.3 billion Internet high-speed broadband project.

In the Dewan Rakyat today, the deputy minister was grilled by Pakatan MPs led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on why the contract was awarded directly to Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).

nor mohamed yakcopAccording to Nor Mohamed, TM had "pleaded with the government to have the broadband project awarded to the company as they had wanted to be a part of this important project."

"Considering this, we had awarded the contract to TM but with a condition, a condition that they be handed the project through a transparent tendered process," he said.

His explanation however did not satisfy those who had demanded an explanation on the matter but instead invited heavy attacks from the opposition.

anwar ibrahim"I am questioning the hasty manner in which the contract was awarded to TM, the question of why it was awarded directly to TM when there should have been an open tender process so that the cost can be cheaper," said Anwar.

Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) then joined in the fray.

"This is an important matter. We are talking about RM11.3 billion of people's money and we do not know who the people benefitting from this project are. Could it be any of the MPs in the Dewan today?” he asked.

mahfuz omar 02"I can say for sure that the fibre optics that would be used to install the broadband projects would be supplied by foreign companies and the money would flow outside of the country," he added.

The PAS information chief also argued that it was no longer necessary for the government to use expensive fibre optics to implement the broadband project but could opt for cheaper digital power-lines instead.

BN MPs join in

azmi khalid 03The deputy minister also came under scrutiny from Barisan Nasional parliamentarians with Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chief Azmi Khalid (Padang Besar) querying him on the need to use fibre optics.

"Fibre optics are rather backwards and costly for the broadband project and it is not necessary to use fibre optics," he said.

At this point, Anwar asked if the government would consider delaying the implementation of the project until all the concerns are addressed.

bung moktar radinAnother BN MP, Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) also felt that it would be good for the government to review the project.

"It would be good to review it. If we can get it cheaper, why not? The rest of the money can be used for development in rural areas such as my constituency," he quipped.

Conceding, Nor Mohamed said that he welcomed the suggestions made and the government would look into them -