KUALA LUMPUR: The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) have asked that a decision on the privatisation of the National Tennis Centre (NTC) at Jalan Duta be put on hold to ensure that it does fall into the wrong hands.
LTAM claim that too many loose ends remain and hope that proper due diligence be conducted before the contract is awarded to any company.
LTAM secretary Rahizam Rahim also refuted claims by the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) that there were no objections from the national body during the last meeting between LTAM, PSM and the company which has been selected by PSM for the job.
"The whole tender process was conducted with no transparency towards LTAM as the main user of NTC," said Rahizam, in a press conference at NTC yesterday.
“We were invited to attend a meeting with PSM at their office on April 16. At the meeting, their chief executive officer (Azman Fahmi Osman) informed us that a company - a private tennis academy - has been selected and was also invited to attend the meeting.
"We were not forewarned of the company's attendance or that they would do a presentation. During the meeting LTAM clearly expressed objection over the manner that the tender process had been conducted and is disappointed with PSM for not being able to keep to its assurances (to LTAM).
“In an earlier meeting with PSM on March 9, PSM had agreed and promised to share copies of related documents for us to conduct a due diligence exercise on the tender process. We were then to give PSM feedback once the exercise was completed.
"We sent follow-up emails requesting the documents but never received any from them."
Rahizam added that LTAM want to ensure that a qualified company is given the job and have asked Sports Ministry secretary general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali to mediate in upcoming discussions.
"The company selected will be given a three-year contract with an option to extend for another three years and then another three years after that, which means nine years in total. As the national body in charge of the sport we cannot afford to see NTC going to the wrong company. We need a company which will be able to manage NTC with integrity, accountability and good governance.
"We have written in to Datuk Lokman on the matter and he has given us a positive reply. We are hoping to meet with him next week together with PSM. It will be good to have a third party involved instead of us going back and forth with PSM with no progress made."
PSM recently announced that they expected to make an official announcement on the company given the contract this week.