Federal gov't cannot compel states to reopen economy in conditional MCO: LawyersCORONAVIRUS | MACC has launched investigations into several contracts awarded on a direct-negotiation basis by the Health Ministry (MOH) to procure equipment for Covid-19 operation nationwide, said sources familiar with the cases.However, high-ranking anti-graft officials who spoke to Malaysiakini have denied viral messages that said MACC arrested several officers at the ministry in a raid yesterday.They also urged the public not to make any speculations and let the anti-graft investigators complete their investigations."MACC is focusing on the process of appointing contractors for every purchase made under the (government's) emergency procurement procedures."This is to ensure that the appointments were done according to the law and without elements of corruption or abuse of power," said a source.Under the government's guidelines for emergency procurement, ministries and agencies are allowed to make purchases or appoint contractors to carry out works without having to follow the normal procurement procedures.Sources, however, declined to specifically identify the companies that are under MACC's scrutiny in the investigations beyond stating that "several" companies had been summoned by investigators to assist in the investigation.This includes one construction company which had allegedly acquired a laboratory construction project for MOH."Emergency procurement is not a license to appoint just any contractor. Contractors chosen must come from those that have the proper license, credentials and expertise to carry out the works needed."(Ministries) cannot simply appoint anyone to be a supplier. Most hospital equipment such as ventilators, laboratories and such require expertise to install, commission and carry out maintenance."Please let MACC do its job. Investigations are being done, and any form of speculation would only hinder the probes. At the same time, it paints a negative image on the alleged organisation and individuals," said a source.Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba issued a press statement supporting MACC's efforts to fight corruption and embezzlement of public funds."MOH always monitors and ensures the integrity of the ministry's workforce is at the highest level. Thus, MOH will always support the efforts of MACC to eradicate elements of corruption and embezzlement."MOH will always cooperate with MACC including in ensuring the ministry's personnel always put importance on the value of integrity," he said.However, the release did not provide any context to why the minister had issued such a statement.This was then followed by speculations on alleged corruption in the ministry, including allegations that several officers at Adham's office had been arrested.Meanwhile, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah declined to comment when asked about the investigation and whether it would have any effect on the MOH's Covid-19 operations.He told a press conference in Putrajaya today that any questions concerning the case should be referred to the MACC."MOH will always cooperate with the MACC whenever needed," he said briefly.
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