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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Is Muhyiddin sour because of frozen projects?

Why did Muhyiddin disappear and has now reappeared? It was definitely not media blackout because he was missing even from pro-Opposition media portals.
Rasyhid Hamzan
mahathir-muhyiddin

‘Now you see him, now you don’t’, the famous phrase used in the Chipsmore biscuit advert perfectly describes ex-DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He gets sacked from the ministry and cabinet, opens his mouth for a while, then went under the radar but is now back with mentor Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad calling for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.

Why did Muhyiddin disappear and has now reappeared? It was definitely not media blackout because he was missing even from pro-Opposition media portals.

After all this is the Mahathir way of doing things – to blackmail the leader for approval of favourable projects.

6P Amnesty Programme

Illegal foreign workers is a never-ending problem in Malaysia. It was once speculated that there are more than two million non-citizens in Malaysia, nearly one-third of them illegal. The sprouting of illegal immigrants is believed to be responsible for the increasing crime rates in the country. To address this issue, the government started the 6P Amnesty Programme several years ago to register the illegal ones in order to monitor their activities better.

The government appointed Nexbis Sdn. Bhd as the sole company to carry out this programme. A biometric system was installed in every entry point into the country that was used to register these immigrants. Nexbis was the sole supplier of this device to the Home Ministry and Immigration Department. It was alleged that a Dato who is Muhyiddins Son in-law was the main person behind Nexbis being awarded the contract.

Nexbis subsequently subcontracted many smaller companies to carry out the operations. However, there was no check and balancing of those companies that a lot of frauds and misappropriations transpired. Foreign worker non-governmental organisations such Tenaganita claims that poor implementation, lack of transparency and fraudulent agents severely hampered success of the 6P Programme. More than a billion tax-payers money again went to the drain.

School Laboratory Project

Not long ago while Muhyiddin was the Education Minister, a budget of about RM 1.5 billion was approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) for a nationwide repair and improvement of school scientific labs.

The entire project was solely handed to a company through direct negotiations. It is alleged that the brainchild behind this project is none other than Muhyiddin’s son-in-law. Following this for the subsequent umpteen years all lab maintenance and procurement will be done only by this company. When Muhyiddin got sacked, he initially went on attack mode against Najib to send a strong message not to disturb the project which is in its final stages of planning in MOE. Things moved on and Muhyiddin kept mum. However since the induction of a new Education Minister, the project has been allegedly put to hold due to irregularities in awarding the project to a single company and proposed monopoly for years to come. This has hurt Muhyiddin hence the latter has once again come out speaking against Najib.

Just as Mahathir empowered his family financially, so did his protégé Muhyiddin. We only explored some of the alleged wrong-doings and Muhyiddin’s abuse of power by directly offering contracts and projects to his son-in-law. His son Fakhri Yassin allegedly got a fair bite of the cherry too. Muhyiddin being dropped from cabinet has directly affected the cash flow quadrant of his family.

It will be interesting to see if Najib succumbs to the pressure and instructs to unfreeze frozen mega projects. Pro-Opposition supporters are definitely mounting more pressure on Najib to fulfill Muhyiddin’s internal demands. Once again a Mahathir ally is fooling the public to enrich himself and ironically ‘intelligent’ Malaysians are giving a helping hand again.

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