Focus Paper

Open Tender Policy in Penang: Nurturing Capable Malay Contractors

Barisan Nasional bedmates UMNO and MCA both cried foul when the new Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang mandated that all state procurement would be via open tender.

UMNO leaders lambasted the Penang state government for causing Malay contractors to lose their ‘rice bowl’ of government contracts. MCA, on the other hand, charges the DAP-led state government for “currying favours” with the non-Chinese.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in response quipped he is neither anti-Malay nor anti-Chinese but anti-corruption.

One is tempted to suggest the referee is fair when both sides are unhappy.


But REFSA is beyond glib replies. Read our focus paper on how bumiputra contractors are thriving in this new competitive environment, and how an open tender process balanced with protection for bumiputras makes for effective affirmative action.

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