The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should name the Cabinet Minister referred to in the allegation of impropriety in the award of Telekom contract to Ericsson between 1992-1993.
Anwar should do this as he had stressed that the Government should be transparent and the need to give “a clear lesson to all parties that they should not take tender exercises lightly”.
Anwar had been quite coy when asked whether the preliminary report had alleged any wrongdoing by a Minister, replying: “There were references but no specific allegation. I have not seen the detailed report”.
However, Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, who was the Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts at the relevant period, had said that he was not involved in the alleged discrepancies surrounding the award of the Telekom contract as “ Ministers had no say whatsoever in any tender process involving privatised entities of their respective ministries, regardless of the value of the contract”.
Samy Vellu also said that only the Finance Minister had the power to deal with tenders involving private entities.
Anwar, however, differed, saying: “Yes and no. We have to investigate.”
Apart from the specific allegation of impropriety in the award of the Telekom contract to Ericsson, which was part of Telekom’s RM2.07 billion contract for telephone exchanges over five years, Malaysians want to know the real demarcation of powers and responsibilities among Ministers with regard to contracts involving privatised entities like Telekom, Tenaga Nasional Bhd., etc. - how Samy Vellu was both “right and wrong” in his clarification of Ministerial powers concerning any tender process involving privatised entitites.