MALAY MAIL EXCLUSIVE
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The Youth and Sports Ministry's secretary-general Datuk Yasin Salleh has dismissed the notion there was anything "fishy" in the tender process to supply and install gymnastics equipment at Gymnasium 3, National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil.
Several companies involved in the tender process informed Mailsport they were clueless to why the tender, which was first published in local dailies on June 29, 2009, is yet to be awarded.
Mailsport received a list of the 17 companies, together with their quotations, but was told three companies — one belonging to a former national gymnast, another to an events management company, and the third based in Kuala Terengganu — were shortlisted.
The quotation ranged from RM1,625,873.45 to RM4,963,007. No details were given about the type and quality of equipment to be supplied.
The quotes by the three shortlisted companies ranged from RM2,796,465 to RM2,978,990. Insiders claim the tender — with reputable equipment and warranty — is estimated at RM2.4 million.
"Why has it taken so long? What was the criteria used to select the three companies? The ministry can go on the defensive but we know several individuals in NSC are calling the shots," alleged a contractor.
"If they had done this earlier, the organisers of the just-concluded Asean Schools Championships would not need to go running elsewhere for the equipment. Applying for tenders is nothing new to us so they can’t claim we didn't fill up the forms properly."
Another source claimed the tender was being stalled for a more opportune time to decide — when Yasin, who is also the chairman of the tender board committee, vacates his position.
Apparently, Yasin — who will leave office on July 31 — is said to be thorough with such dealings, thereby frustrating several parties. "We don’t know the names of the companies as they are identified through tender codes (numbers)," explained Yasin.
"The first tender was announced last year but it was opened to only bumiputera companies. So we re-issued a fresh tender for Gymnasium 3 earlier this year (Feb 26, 2010) and opened it to all companies, bumiputera or otherwise."
When asked about the quote submitted by an events management company, Yasin added: "Anyone is free to submit as long as they conform to regulations."
To allegations that several parties were anxious for his departure, Yasin said "it will make no difference who replaces me". It was also learnt the three shortlisted companies have submitted the same brand of equipment, but quoted differently.
"Some of the quotes were well within the RM2.4m value of the tender and yet were not considered under the dubious reason that the equipment was not internationallyrecognised. And we had already supplied the same equipment for some major international competitions," said another bidder.
Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) secretary N. Shanmugarajah, who clearly didn't want to be drawn into the issue, stated the national body was only involved in the pretender period.
"We do not get involved in the tender process. I don’t know what's going on," he remarked.
The consulting contractors for NSC, Perunding Kos Putra, also declined comment. "We’re not at liberty to discuss such matters. Please talk to NSC," said its general manager, Abdul Wahab Taib.