A Malaysian minister who denied knowing anything about two projects approved during her tenure was last night reminded of photos she had apparently taken at the site of one of the projects.
In the latest string of developments centering the controversy of Malaysian ministers directly approving government projects, ex-finance minister Lim Guan Eng reposted 2019 photos suggesting that Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin was at the construction site of a project worth RM170 million (US$40 million) she claimed had no knowledge of.
The photos, which show Zuraida touring the site with other individuals involved in the project, appear to contradict her claim to reporters yesterday that she was kept in the dark about the multimillion-dollar solid waste management project called Bumi Segar Indah, and another project worth RM500,000 awarded to IT company Century Software.
“I would like to clarify that the two projects approved by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, during my tenure as minister during the previous administration, were done without my knowledge,” she said.
Her political secretary Nor Hizwan Adam then chimed in to say that those deals were approved by Lim.
“Zuraida was not involved in any of these negotiations or approvals. They were initiated and organized by then-Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng himself,” he said.
The 2019 photos Lim shared were screenshots taken from Zuraida’s own social media account.
Menteri kata dia tak tau pasal projek ini.
— Lim Guan Eng (@guanenglim) August 27, 2020
“Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin visits project site for the construction of a solid waste transfer station at Taman Beringin, Jinjang, Kepong,” the caption read. It included several photos showing her speaking to staff on site.
The Bumi Segar Indah project involved the construction, operation and maintenance of a new solid waste transfer station in the town of Kepong, while the IT project was related to financial and accounting system maintenance.
Both were exposed by Finance Minister Zafrul Abdul Aziz on Wednesday as part of a list of 101 projects approved through direct negotiations with ministers under the Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) government.
Zuraida has since switched camps and continues to hold the ministerial portfolio under the current Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) government, which took over in February.
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