It is not sinful for Umno members to have been given contracts to construct Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campuses, Perkasa said today, hitting out at PKR for alleging cronyism in the projects.
Its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (pic) said that questioning Umno leaders over the awarding of the projects makes it appear as if it was sinful for Malays to be given business opportunities.
“I am not an Umno member but it seems as if it is a sin for them to give contracts to Umno members,” he said in a press conference at Perkasa’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
He said Umno members, like other citizens, had every right to be awarded contracts if they were qualified.
“In principle, every citizen has a right to do business. But now, when Malays get contracts, it is a sin,” he added.
However, Ibrahim stressed that the awarding of contracts should follow proper procedures.
“We don’t care who they are, anyone can get business opportunities, but on condition that the awarding of project be done transparently, competitively and follows the conditions,” he said.
He slammed Pakatan Rakyat leaders for alleging cronyism in the projects, saying some of them were also awarded similar contracts in states governed by the opposition coalition.
“In Kelantan, are there no PAS leaders who did not get logging projects? In Selangor, are there leaders who did not get sand-mining projects?” he said.
Last week, PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said that Putrajaya is paying five times more to build six UiTM campuses by privatising the construction work.
He had said the concession agreements, which he alleged were given to Umno leaders and their cronies, showed that the Barisan Nasional federal government has inked 23-year agreements to pay a yearly rental of RM8.6 billion on the campuses.
In contrast, Putrajaya will spend only an average of RM1.8 billion if it had built all the six campuses.
The campuses are located in Pasir Gudang (Johor), Jasin (Malacca), Seremban 3 (Negeri Sembilan), Puncak Alam (Selangor), Tapah (Perak) and Kota Samarahan (Sarawak).
UiTM, however, refuted Rafizi’s allegations, saying the concession method of UiTM’s construction was through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) method, which would also rake in profits for the university.