I am sure the business people in Malaysia, especially those in the construction business, will be most excited to hear the PM saying that they don't have to pay or give favors to secure government contracts, tenders and concessions. Datuk Seri Najib blandly said that they don't have to pay to conduct business with the goverment and such belief or perception should be dispelled.
I say that businessmen will be excited about this because dispelling the belief can work both ways -- stem out corruption or delay the work to be undertaken by government, terribly.
Yes, if businessmen stopped giving payoffs and offering favors in order to get a contract from government, corruptipn will cease. It is the attractive offerer which creates the receiver unless the party offering the contract, approving the tender or the cocession makes a demamd before giving the approval. When there is no offer the approval had to be given to the businessman most qualified for the job to be ubdertaken. If a demand was made before the approval, then a clear case of corruption is already committed ab initio.
A bribery offer is usually made by a businessman who isn't confident of getting a job based on offering 'the best for the least' in his tender proposal. The grand price quoted in the tender is made after including all costs. including the bribe to be given out of course, in the tender prosal. It is for this reason that the prices quoted in tenders are often rediculously exorbitant. If the cost of bribery had not been included in the tender proposal and had to be paid from the profit margin expected to be made my the contractor, it is a sure invitation to running a loss. Are businessmen prepared to do that? It may lead to the case of unfinished jobs and abandoned projects to ovoid serious cost overrun and perhaps bankcruptcy.
Those than are the dangers of not making allowance for paying bribes or payoffs. If no payoffs or favors is offerred at all to the party awarding the contract, tender or concession, it may also be the last contract the businessman might get. There would be others who are willing and prepared to pay, waiting to get the job. These businessmen would have included the bribery costs in their cost evaluation for the tender.
Delays in work implementation can be caused by many factors such as difficulties in getting the supply of work and building materials, incurring cost overruns, delays in getting progress payments, and the ultimate inability of the contractor to finance the work. Such problems on the part of the contractor can be due to all forms of delays on the part of the government, each compounding his problems. A delay in the initial start of work can be due to getting all the documentation ready and the approval to start work. All of the above involve continuous interaction between the contractor and the government. Thus at any point any delay by the party responsible in the governemt for giving the approval can cause serous problems and delay for the contractor which inevitably will lead to cost increases. Can the contractor accept this or isn't better to give some titbits all the way to get the things that you wants quite promptly. Otherwise the little delays will all add up to a huge implementation
shortfall that is not uncommon in the government.
The issue here is can the government just say"stop giving money and favours in order to get government contracts, tenders
and concessions." Businessmen will just be happy to do that but won't the government agencies responsible for issuing the contracts. evaluating the tenders, giving approval to start work and various other approval certificates before the work can be completed. approving payments etc. suddenly play cool and take their time to give the necessary approval such that all work will be slowed down? Businessmen talk about paying "grease money" to get things go faster and smoother. How can these be stopped as well aside from seeing to it that tenders, contracts and concessions are all evaluated, approved and issues without seeking some payments or kickbacks that we here generally call corruption?
A deeper examination of the way major works are done from the word go to their completion must be done to see where the payment of "grease money' might be involved aside from some commissions or kickbacks that really involve substantial amounts. Corruption is not a once-over thing in getting a government job done. It can happen all along the way. Whilst the MACC is doing a fine job to get the culprit taking huge payoffs from major government projects, many smaller payoffs might be missed.