KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia's (PKMM) Penang branch has defended the state's open tender system as fair and warned Penang MCA to stop politicising contracts awarded to Bumiputeras there.
Acting Penang PKMM chief Datuk Izham Merican today condemned what he said was Penang MCA's "ignorance" for failing to understand that open tenders allowed the state government to select the best and most competitively priced contractors, regardless of race.
"By only questioning contracts awarded to Malays, is MCA being racist towards the abilities of Malay contractors whom they regard as less competent than other contractors?" Izham said in a statement today.
"The Penang Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia strongly rejects MCA's racist sentiment which insults Malay contractors … MCA should remember that there are good and not-so-good groups in all races, including the Chinese."
He pointed out that non-Bumiputeras were not sidelined even when contracts were given to Bumiputera companies as many suppliers and construction workers were non-Bumiputeras.
"Therefore, for every project offered by the (state) government to Bumiputera contractors in its own way also provides opportunities for other races," he said.
Izham also heaped praise on Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for his professionalism and willingness to help Penangites of all races, including Umno-dominated PKMM, despite criticism from "those who do not understand the state government's policies".
He added that the federal government should give greater assistance to contractors, many of whom were facing closure as the construction industry no longer provided as many opportunities for work as before.
In the past two weeks, Penang MCA has repeatedly accused the DAP-led state government of being anti-Chinese for awarding only two contracts in the past three years to Chinese contractors.
In its latest salvo today, the state MCA said the Penang government's decision to award only 0.2 per cent of the 968 projects tendered since the opposition party took power in 2008 suggested that Lim thought the Chinese community "incompetent".
Before this latest attack, the Penang administration under Lim has regularly been accused by Umno, MCA's senior partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) pact, of being racist for allegedly discriminating against the Malay community. - MI