A Tender Situation
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A Tender Situation

The federal government’s policies favouring negotiated contracts and gatekeepers such as PEMANDU have fostered an anti-competitive economy, where the likelihood of procuring a contract depends on who you know, rather than how good your products or services actually are.

If there isn’t any incentive to improve, human nature is such that there will be hardly any  effort put into upgrading service-levels or productivity. And the record shows that a mere 0.2% of class-F Malaysian contractors have upgraded to a higher class. Why bother upgrading if you’re assured contracts by your Class-F status?

These opaque procurement policies hinder innovation, creativity and productivity, while putting genuine Malaysian entrepreneurs at an disadvantage. Worse still, despite 43 years of formal ‘bumiputera-first’ policies, bumiputeras still comprise more than 3/4 of the bottom 40% of households living on RM50 a day. So much for ‘protecting the bumiputera’!

Pakatan Rakyat’s open tender policy in Penang is a huge step in the right direction. Awarding contracts to the most capable contractors not only facilitates improvement amongst the contractors, but also rewards industrious contractors based on their own strength.

We need to look past baseless accusations such as ‘affronts to bumiputera rights’ and ‘threats to the Chinese interests’ and realize the massive potential behind the open tender policy if implemented wisely nation-wide. UMNOnomics maps out why a little competition is good for both consumers and workers, with clever cartoons encapsulating the main points.

Written simply by Teh Chi-Chang, illustrated creatively by Johnny Ong and endorsed by personalities from Nurul Izzah Anwar to Kee Thuan Chye and Zunar, this book is a steal at just RM35. Pick up a copy today at a Times, Kinokuniya, or Borders bookstore near you, or order it online by visiting http://shop.refsa.org/

 

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