30th September 2021
In The Public Interest Of Transparency And Public Accountability, The RM38.5 Million Renovation Costs For The Prime Minister’s Official Residence Must Disclose Detailed Costing To Justify Such Use Of People’s Funds In The Face Of The Twin National Crisis Of COVID-19 Pandemic And National Recession
In the interest of transparency and public accountability, the RM 38.5 million renovation costs for the Prime Minister’s official residence must disclose detailed costing to justify such use of the people’s funds in the face of the twin national crisis of COVID-19 pandemic and the national recession. Minister in the Prime Minister Department Dr Abd Latiff Ahmad stated that the project was approved on 19 March 2021 and works commenced on 29 March 2021 with expected completion on 7 December 2021.
For a project that was approved only on 19 March but yet works can commence a mere ten days later, gives rise to questions whether a public open tender was conducted. If not, then where is the urgency until government procurement protocols are not complied with? At a time when the government is short of funds, is spending RM38.5 million on renovations necessary when such funds can be used to build public housing for the poor, especially in the urban areas.
Further, what are the renovations required that have imposed such a high cost? Unless the costs are subjected to stringent scrutiny, the public has every right to question whether the RM 38.5 million could be better utilised for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with more ICU beds, better treatment, medicines, or even financial aid to those affected by the economic recession.
Lim Guan Eng
MP for Bagan