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Malaysian finance ministers embroiled in new corruption row

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Another row over government corruption allegations broke out in Malaysia on Tuesday, after former Finance Minister Lim Eng demanded incumbent Tengku Abdul Aziz to back up claims that Mr Eng’s administration improperly handled government contracts.

According to Mr Eng, “I dare him to reveal everything so that the Rakyat (Malaysia’s parliament) can evaluate/compare which company succeeded in getting a tender, which crony got it and which minister applied for projects through direct negotiations.”

Mr Abdul Aziz made the allegations on Monday before the parliament, saying that contracts worth 6.61 billion ringgit (or 1.58 billion dollars) were negotiated rather than put up for tender.

He took over as Malaysia’s Finance Minister in March after the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition when Mahathir Mohamad quit as Prime Minister.

Mr Eng, who was Mahathir’s Finance minister, has since been charged with corruption over the building of an undersea tunnel from Penang Island to the Malaysian mainland.

The allegations date to his 2008-2012 tenure as Chief Minister of Penang Local Government.

Mr Eng, however, denied the charges, which he said were politically motivated.

The short-lived Pakatan Harapan coalition assumed duty after elections in May 2018 that were fought, in part, over allegations of corruption against another former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who was sentenced to 12 years in jail in July.

Mr Razak’s allies returned to office after the fall of the Mahathir-led coalition in February.

(dpa/NAN)



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