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Tourism Ministry: First tender called off following proper procedures

2009. 24 July

( The Tourism Ministry called off the first tender exercise for the construction of a Malaysian pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai in accordance with the provisions of the Treasury circular on government procurement procedures for open tender.
Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng said in a letter to theSun that all procedures and processes of an open tender system were adhered to at all times.

"The first open tender exercise for this project was called on March 11 whereby nine companies submitted documents," he said.

"However, this tender was cancelled as the submissions did not reflect holistically the theme of Shanghai Expo 2010 -- 'Better City, Better Life'.

"The cancellation was done in accordance with the provisions provided in the Treasury’s circular on government procurement procedures for open tender."

Ong was responding to articles in theSun on July 20 and 21 on how drug firm Venturepharm Asia Sdn Bhd was awarded a controversial contract valued at RM19.99 million to build the Malaysia pavilion at the World Expo next year.

"A new tender process for the Expo project was called through the open tender system on May 12 via advertisements in newspapers," said Ong.

"In line with the open tender process, a briefing was made to the interested parties on  May 13, which was attended by 35 companies.

"Subsequently, 15 tender documents were sold. Tender submission closed on June 4 whereby 11 companies submitted documents with design models.

"However, only 10 companies fulfilled the required specifications," he said.

Ong said the 10 tender documents were then evaluated by the technical and financial committee, which formed the basis for consideration and selection by the tender board of Tourism Malaysia.

"The tender board considered the eligible tenders meticulously in accordance to the financial procedures to ensure that the selected company provides optimal value for money, fulfils the technical requirements, has the necessary experience in undertaking such projects and is registered with the Finance Ministry under the Treasury Code No 220204 (exhibition management/stage).

"We wish to state that the selection of the company has been carried out in accordance with all the required financial procedures as outlined by the Finance Ministry," said Ong.

He added that the contract was awarded to Venturepharm with three conditions - any variation order involving an increase in project cost is not allowed; the company involved shall incur the full costs of engaging the counterpart company to implement this project in China; arising from the transactions undertaken in China, the Malaysian government will not incur any additional cost or price increase over and above the tender price.

Updated: 12:57AM Fri, 24 Jul 2009