Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president, should be aware that the contract for George Town Festival was awarded through direct tender. Pic by NSTP/YAZIT RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR: “Whistleblower” Rafizi Ramli must not turn a blind eye to several issues plaguing Penang’s annual George Town Festival as highlighted in the second series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2016.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president, should be aware that the contract for George Town Festival was awarded through direct tender.

Abdul Rahman pointed out that the tender was awarded to the contractor directly at a cost of RM19 million for five years.

“The National Audit Department had found several issues concerning George Town Festival in the way its contracts were awarded and approved, which were highlighted in the second series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2016.

“It also found that George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) had overpaid the contractor by RM500,000 in what is classified as ‘improper payment’,” he told reporters at the closing ceremony of the Negaraku Expo today.

GTWHI, which is chaired by DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, is set up by the Penang government to oversee the management, monitoring, and promotion of the George Town World Heritage site.

In reminding Rafizi against employing selective criticisms, Abdul Rahman said Pandan lawmaker must not turn a blind eye to mismanagement in states administered by opposition parties.

Correlating the George Town Festival controversy with Rafizi’s recently-botched attacks towards Abdul Rahman and PICO Integrated Exhibit Sdn Bhd over the organisation of Ekspo Negaraku, Abdul Rahman said Rafizi should not be biased to the extent of slandering the federal government.

“I have already explained that the cost of Ekspo Negaraku is RM37 million, and how the event was awarded to PICO Integrated Exhibit Sdn Bhd based on the company’s capability and proven track record.

“I want to remind Rafizi that PICO Integrated Exhibit had also handled events for the Selangor government.

“This is contrary Rafizi’s claim that the company had never handled big events,” said Rahman, who is lining up legal action against Rafizi following the latter’s accusations.

Rafizi had organised a press conference on Monday and accused Abdul Rahman of appointing his ‘brother’ as the main contractor for Ekspo Negaraku.

Rafizi had confidently said that he had conducted thorough “research and investigations”, the result of which “proved” that Raslan Dahlan, who is the chief executive officer of PICO Integrated Exhibit, was Abdul Rahman’s “brother”.

However, the exposé bungled when Abdul Rahman pointed out that Raslan was not his brother.

“The many baseless accusations by Rafizi over the years had forced the federal government to spend time and money, including for Ekspo Negaraku, to channel the correct information to the rakyat,” Abdul Rahman said.

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