Zairil’s ‘roti canai’ logic on open tenders

Lim Sian See

The slow-dancing DAP Member of Parliament Zairil Khir Johari is trying to insinuate that the govt is being corrupt by making a public statement why the Ministry of Education did not procure the two English text-books via open tender but instead, negotiated directly with the publishers of two books.

The two books are “Super Minds” from Cambridge University Press and “Pulse 2” from Macmillan Publishers.

“Super Minds” and “Pulse 2” was apparently negotiated directly from local publishers Pan Asia Publications and Desa Fikir respectively.

Last month, the Ministry of Education (MoE) announced it will use these two imported English textbooks to implement a curriculum aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Language next year.

Whether the books are suitable is subject to each individual’s opinion but I am sure MOE has done its due diligence after considering the European Framework.

After all, Cambridge University Press and Macmillian are well-known names in terms of English text books.

However, what YB Championship Manager 2 did not state is that text-books are not commodity products with replacement products from multiple suppliers..

Text-books are intellectual property (IP) and you have to negotiate with the license-holders.


For example, Pan Asean publications is the sole distributor and publisher for Cambridge press text-books in Malaysia.

Not anyone can reproduce or reprint IP products such as text book as they have to be licensed directly by the IP holders.

They are not garam or roti which you can use open tender to select.

Even if you called for Open Tender for those two text-books, you will still be buying from distributors who will have to source from the two publishers anyway – so, you might as well negotiate directly with the two publishers.

They are SOLE suppliers. It is like asking Penang Govt why they did not do open tender to purchase electricity or water but buy from TNB or PBA directly.

This is yet another example of DAP taking advantage of the general ignorance of the public to incite hatred using misleading allegations.

If YB Christoper Lim is so concerned about open tenders, perhaps he should question YAB Lim Guan Eng about the direct negotiation sale of state land for Peel Avenue or for Pulau Jerejak instead?

After all, both direct nego sales by DAP are for RM156 million EACH and undervaluation could mean hundreds of millions of losses to Penang while the two English text-books for Standard One and Two pupils, Form One and Two students for entire Malaysia cost RM33 million.

Source: Lim Sian See



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