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Putrajaya should immediately disqualify the application by the brother of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to register and recruit Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia, said an opposition federal lawmaker, citing public accountability.
DAP’s Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari (pic, right) said Zahid, who is also the home minister, must come clean and clarify his role in the introduction of his brother’s company, Real Time Networking Sdn Bhd, to the ministry as well as to the Bangladeshi authorities.
“If he has been found to violate ethical boundaries, then he should resign as home minister and deputy prime minister,” Zairil said in a statement today.
Malaysiakini reported yesterday that Real Time Networking, owned by Datuk Abdul Hakim Hamidi, is currently negotiating with the governments of Malaysia and Bangladesh to provide an online system.
The system would register and monitor 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers whom Putrajaya recently announced would be brought in over the next three years.
The news portal said the company was offering a package whereby they would collect 60,000 takas (RM3,000) for each prospective worker who wished to work in Malaysia.
The proposed system would then act as an intermediary to link the databases of the various agencies, including the Immigration Department and the Manpower Department in Malaysia.
According to documents sighted by Malaysiakini, Real Time Networking had presented its proposal to the Malaysian government through a letter dated June 17 this year to Zahid, which was then forwarded to the ministry’s secretary-general, along with a handwritten note by Zahid.
When questioned about claims of nepotism, Hakim replied: “My brother is the minister but I am a businessman. It is a democratic country and I can do anything, other than be a drug pusher.”
He added that “Malaysians are very difficult. They say if my brother is a minister, I cannot do anything.”
Zairil said today that such a statement not only smacked of ignorance, but made a mockery of public accountability.
“The fact is Hakim can do as much business as he wants to, so long as it does not involve any government agency or department that any of his direct family members have an interest in.
“As his brother is the home minister and the ultimate approving authority for all foreign workers in our country, there is no denying the glaring element of conflict of interest involved.”
Zairil said the nonchalant admission from the ministry on the matter yesterday confirming that Real Time Networking was among several local companies bidding for the project and that Zahid’s written note did not constitute an instruction or approval was shocking.
“They must take Malaysians for fools if they think that the obvious conflict of interest in this case can be simply glossed over by an assurance that they will evaluate the proposal by the home minister’s brother in a fair and objective manner.
“Zahid Hamidi and the rest of the federal government would also do well to learn from the Penang state government, which has since 2008 explicitly forbidden any family member of an elected representative from conducting any business dealings with the state.” – August 12, 2015.
Source: The Malaysian Insider
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