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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Removal of PSP canteen operator was an administrative issue, not racial, religious discrimination. Tender just required a Muslim to Prepare food.

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Removal of PSP canteen operator an administrative issue, not racial, religious discrimination: Reezal

Kalbana Perimbanayagam
New Straits TimesJune 30, 2017


KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Umno today said the termination of operations of a canteen operator at Politeknik Seberang Perai (PSP) has nothing to do with racial or religious discrimination.


Its Liaison Committee deputy chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said he had personally contacted the PSP administration on the matter and found out that the termination was due to administrative reasons.

Saying that the issue has been unnecessarily "overplayed" to create unwanted tension, he said Gopi Krishnan Gopal's stall was not the only ones affected by the termination.


"The expiry date for the contract was part of an agreement clause which the seven stall operators there had to comply with every two years.


"From what I gather, Gopi Krishnan's stall was not the only ones faced with contract expiration. There were six others whose contracts also expired on the same date," Reezal said, adding that some of the operators were Malays and Muslims.

He said the matter had nothing to do with whether or not, the stall had been operated by a Muslim or non-Muslim.

"It's a clear cut issue where an agreement tenure has ended and needed to be renewed with a new term. The matter did not go through because the operator did not fulfill certain requirements and criterias set by the management.


"However, prior to the expiry of the contract, a tender was announced for the 2017/19 canteen contract and four of the bidders, including three Muslim ones were also crossed out by the PSP for the same reason," he said.


Reezal said the main reason behind Gopi Krishnan's tender disqualification was because he did not have the 040103 field code which compulsorily require a Muslim to prepare the food.


"This is one of the main requirements set by the PSP, which Gopi failed to meet," he said, adding that it was evident that there was no racial discrimination in the case.

Meanwhile, PSP in statement clarified that the Bidding and Tender Evaluation Board disqualified Gopi's tender application from GA Multi Trading because he had failed to meet the requirements and criteria set.


It said that Gopi Krishnan had failed to fulfill the requirement of 'providing a Muslim cooked food' criteria and he wasn't registered with the Finance Ministry.

"Two other Muslim canteen operators, who have been doing business here for more than 10 years were also subjected to the same fate as Gopi, after failing to meet the criteria and requirements set by board," it wrote.


It was reported that a canteen operator at PSP had to cease operations after failing to win rights to rent one of seven stalls at its canteen.


The trader, who had been operating since September last year, had alleged that only traders meeting “shariah ISO” would be allowed to rent there. This was following a fresh tender that was called in May this year.

PSP director Zulkifli Ariffin had told MIC leaders on Thursday that the trader was let go for failure to obtain halal certification, among others.

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