Friday 24 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will call up all key decision makers involved in the awarding of a government contract to Spanco Sdn Bhd back in the 90s, including the prime minister and finance minister at the time, Berita Harian reported.

The process of taking the statements of the individuals involved is necessary to complete the agency’s investigation on the contract, namely for the supply, maintenance and management of the government’s fleet of vehicles, the report quoted MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki as saying.

“We will call up anyone who made the decision at the time, who decided to award the project to Spanco.

“Whoever involved then including the prime minister and the finance minister will be called in for statement taking, and to find out what they know about the case,” Azam was quoted as saying at a press conference after “Program Cakna Rasuah” with Sarawak media practitioners on Tuesday.

The MACC is investigating the 2020 award of government fleet management contract to Spanco. It is the company’s second such contract, as it had a 25-year mandate to manage the government’s fleet of vehicles from 1993 to 2018.

The prime minister at the time was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose tenure ended at end-October 2003.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s current prime minister, was finance minister up until September 1998. Upon Anwar’s sacking then, Mahathir took on the finance portfolio until January 1999, before it was taken up by Tun Daim Zainuddin until May 2001 — following which Mahathir again took back the portfolio until around his resignation as PM.

In 2004, the Ministry of Finance ordered a review of the Spanco deal as it was believed that the government had overpaid for the services.

It was later reported that the government was paying a total of RM221.6 million per year to Spanco, to rent a total of 10,963 Proton cars for official use.

On Dec 11, 2019, Cekap Urus Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Berjaya Group and Naza Group received a letter of intent (LOI) from the government for the fleet management contract; however, it was terminated a year later on Dec 22, 2020.

In July last year, Berjaya Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan filed a suit against the Finance Ministry and Spanco regarding the terminated LOI, alleging that the contract was awarded to Spanco even though its offered price was higher by RM700 million.

This prompted the MACC to open an investigation into the issue.

“The issue reported to the MACC is when questions were raised following the cancellation of the contract to a company, and how come Spanco secured the contract from then to now, that is the focus of the investigation currently,” Azam was quoted as saying.

“We have called in more than 20 individuals, and have also frozen around 80 accounts of companies and individuals linked to the case,” he added.

According to SSM data, Spanco’s shareholders are Jati Rata Sdn Bhd (46%), Tan Sri Robert Tan Hua Choon (24.65%), Datuk Seri Tan Han Chuan (14.67%), Datin Tan Ching Ching (9.68%) and Minhat Mion (5%).

Edited ByIsabelle Francis
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