Archive for October 24th, 2011

Parliamentary body to probe feedlot project

by Hazlan Zakaria
6:45PM Oct 24, 2011

The fate of a failed government-linked company and its RM250 million government soft loan that was made debate fodder by the Opposition in Parliament recently is in the sight of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“This matter has been made much of in Parliament. The PAC will look into National Feedlot Corporation, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries,” its chairperson Azmi Khalid told reporters after chairing the financial oversight body’s maiden meeting for this session at Parliament House today.

The opposition raised red flags on the corporation, not just because of its non-performance but more so because of National Feedlot’s link to the son and husband of a federal minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Mara ticked off for high-priced purchases

Hafiz Yatim | 2:18PM Oct 24, 2011

Instead of fully utilising a RM54 million allocation to provide training courses for the hardcore poor, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) spent money on related items – at 100 percent more than the market price.

The 2010 Auditor-General’s Report, tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today, states that the funds were provided under the second Economic Stimulus programme to help the poor boost their income

Some of the purchases highlighted in the report:

•An oven at RM1,200 compared to the market price of RM419, for baking and pastry-making courses in Kelantan

•Folding beds at RM500, against the market price of RM100

•Two-burner gas cookers at RM200 each, rather than RM59.90

•Hair clippers supplied at RM250 each, instead of RM79

•A blender at RM140 instead of RM60 Read the rest of this entry »


Price of binoculars zooms 29 times

Nigel Aw | 5:45PM Oct 24, 2011

The Malaysian Marine Parks Department (JTLM) spent a whopping RM56,350 for a pair of night vision Marine binoculars, 29 times more than its market value of RM1,940, the 2010 Auditor-General’s report reveals.

The department paid the same amount for another pair of night vision Bushnell binoculars, or 1,893 percent more than its actual price of RM2,827.

It similarly overpaid RM38,470 and RM13,918 for a Colour Marine radar set costing RM8,255 and a LCD TV with DVD player costing RM16,100 and RM2,182 respectively.

Other items include:

•Laptop and colour printer at RM11,845, instead of RM3,428 (246 percent more)

•Hand-held portable VHF Transceiver at RM4,324, instead of RM1,561 (177 percent more) Read the rest of this entry »


PAC to haul up seven ministries, agencies for weak finances

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will probe seven ministries and agencies for weak financial management.

They are the Health Ministry; Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry; Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry; Transport Ministry; Internal Revenue Board; Customs Department and the Malaysia Stadiums Corporation.

“These are the seven… recommended in the Auditor-General’s Report but we will decide next week if we will increase the number,” PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid told reporters after the Auditor-General briefed the committee.

Also present was Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and other PAC members. Read the rest of this entry »


Auditor-General: Putrajaya risked lives in delaying Bukit Jalil stadium roof repair

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Putrajaya risked public safety when it took four years to approve funds to repair the damaged roof at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, the Auditor-General said in his report released today.

The report highlighted that the Merdeka Stadium Corporation (MSC), a federal statutory body responsible for the management of all national sports complexes, had applied to repair damage to the Bukit Jalil Stadium a total of four times since 2006.

The government finally approved RM30 million to repair the damaged stadium in December last year, the report added.

“The Auditor is of the view the delay in completing the roof repairs at Bukit Jalil National Stadium… was because the government did not approve the allocation applied for since 2006.

“This could jeopardise the comfort of users who would be exposed to the rain and endanger their safety if the roof collapsed especially for international events,” the report said. Read the rest of this entry »


Bonus bonanza at GLCs despite losses, says Auditor-General report

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) and Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd were among six government-linked companies (GLCs) that paid employees up to two months’ bonus despite suffering an accumulated RM354.91 million in losses in 2009, the Auditor-General’s report said today.

The report also said that sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional was among ten government companies that have not paid Putrajaya any dividends despite making net profits in 2009.

IWK, which suffered losses amounting to RM33.35 million in 2009, made between one-and-a-half to two month’s bonus payments to its staff during the year.

Prasarana, which lost RM188.03 million in the same year, gave out one-and-a-half months’ bonus to its staff. Read the rest of this entry »


Sports institute ponied up for wrong horses, says Auditor-General

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The National Sports Institute (NSI) paid RM3.94 million for 18 horses that were not qualified to race in the 2008 World Endurance Championship (WEC), the Auditor-General said in his report today.

The report noted NSI had failed to get the Treasury’s approval before buying the horses, as required for direct negotiation purchases.

It further noted NSI had failed to adhere to international rules set by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for equestrian competitions, which saw the 18 out of 23 horses bought in October 2007 being disqualified from the WEC 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

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Auditor-General: Tourism Ministry overpaid RM270m for ads

by Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The Tourism Ministry overpaid nearly RM270 million for advertisements when it chose to use direct bookings instead of open tenders, the Auditor-General reported today.

The report noted that in doing so, the ministry had also breached the Treasury’s regulations as laid down in a circular in 2007.

The ministry also spent a whopping RM1.95 million to buy 1,000 racks — RM1,950 per rack — to hold its tourism pamphlets for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign, the report said, again pointing out the move was done without the treasury’s approval.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said the ministry must hold an open tender “so the price offered will be more competitive, transparent and provide better value for money”.

“In addition, this method would have avoided power abuse as well as created internal controls and good governance in booking advertisement space,” he said in the report. Read the rest of this entry »


Johor highway land cost doubled from original, says audit report

By G. Manimaran
The Malaysian Insider
Bahasa Malaysia Editor
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Land acquisition costs for the Senai-Desaru Expressway project exceeded estimates by nearly 103 per cent or RM375.6 million more than originally stated, according to the 2010 Auditor-General’s report.

Following this development, the Auditor-General is suggesting for the government to adopt a new approach by “capping” expenditure for future projects.

Land acquisition for Senai-Desaru Expressway Bhd (SDEB) was initially estimated to cost RM365 million but the final cost weighed in at RM740.6 million.

The expressway is part of the Iskandar Malaysia development, connecting Senai in west Johor to Desaru in east Johor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Audit: Not even 1pc Sabah computer labs completed

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Only two out of 300 computer laboratories for Sabah schools have been constructed since the government began its RM160.73 million project in April 2008, the Auditor-General’s report said today.

Sabah recorded the highest number of computer lab construction projects as well as costs, followed by Sarawak (RM49 million), Johor (RM10.88 million) and Selangor (RM11.95 million.)

The report added Sabah was the only state with unfinished computer labs, and that other states had long since completed the construction of the facilities in schools. Read the rest of this entry »


Ministry still owes RM110m farmers’ incentives, says audit report

By Melissa Chi
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry has yet to pay RM110.67 million it owed to more than 70,000 farmers under a scheme to encourage a higher rice production, according to the Auditor-General’s report today.

Citing Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas), Malaysia’s rice industry regulator, the report said the farmers were eligible to receive RM341.29 million between January 2007 and January 2010. However, Bernas only managed to pay incentives worth RM230.62 million as at end 2010, citing lack of funds.

This resulted in 73,291 farmers not receiving incentives totalling RM110.67 million.

Bernas currently controls about 24 per cent of the paddy market and 45 per cent of the local rice demand. Read the rest of this entry »

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RM142m RazakSAT faulty after just one year, says federal auditor

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Malfunctions barely a year after the RM142 million RazakSat satellite was launched caused it to take 1,328 unusable images that were inaccurate by up 37km, the Auditor General’s report showed today.

The report made available today said state-owned Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd (ATSB), which operates RazakSAT, lost RM10.89 million in 2009, of which RM7.7 million went towards insurance premiums for the faulty satellite.

“The operational lifespan of RazakSAT is three years. But the RazakSAT satellite failed to function fully on August 30, 2010, a year and sixteen days from launch date,” Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang wrote.

The Auditor General added that the remote sensing satellite was designed to “capture images within 1km accuracy” but “an image of an area in Sungai Buloh and Subang missed by 37km and captured Kuala Selangor.” Read the rest of this entry »


Let Muhyiddin lodge an official complaint against my grandson and I will then advise Guan Eng to lodge a police report against the DPM

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has flunked the opportunity in Parliament today to demonstrate he is a model Education Minister giving top priority to the educational welfare and interests of students in the country.

I had given him the chance to undo the damage of his statement yesterday dismissing as “inadequate” Lim Guan Eng’s denial of baseless and untruthful allegation of his 16-year-old son (my grandson) about modesty violation of a girl who was his classmates by seeking clarification from the Education Minister when he was winding up debate on the 2012 budget debate.

Although Muhyiddin claimed that he was “misquoted”, Muhyiddin went on to repeat what he said yesterday – that Guan Eng should lodge a police report to clear the boy’s name.

Muhyiddin did not explain why a police report should be lodged by Guan Eng to clear the boy’s name when there is no basis whatsoever to the allegation – as the school principal concerned and the Penang State Education director have said investigations produced no evidence while the alleged victim Anya Corke is a Woman Chess Grandmaster in third year in Wellesley College in United States who does not know my grandson or my family at all.
Read the rest of this entry »


Mum considering all options to protect Anya

Malaysiakini | Oct 24, 2011

The mother of a young woman whose photograph had been used to implicate the son of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in an alleged molestation case said she will consider all options in the interest of protecting her daughter.

This may even include taking legal action against those parties propagating rumours about 21-year-old Anya Ann Corke, said her mother, Mei Sun.

“As Anya’s parent, I will check on the options to protect her from this kind of nuisance,” she was quoted in the South China Morning Post today.

Anya, a one-time Hong Kong chess champion who is now studying in the US, was alleged by pro-Umno bloggers to have been molested by Guan Eng’s teenage son, and was the reason for his transfer from the SMK Heng Ee school.
Read the rest of this entry »


DAP wants MCMC to probe websites

By Yow Hong Chieh | October 24, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The DAP wants the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to act against websites spreading allegations that Lim Guan Eng’s son molested a girl.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said the party will submit to the MCMC a list of 34 offending websites and 200 pages of printouts compiled over the past three days for the regulator’s immediate action.

They include blogs by Papagomo and Bukit Gelugor Umno division chief Dr Novandri Hasan Basri, and Utusan Malaysia.

“Frankly speaking… they (MCMC) don’t need a report from us. Once they see something happening they can take the necessary action.
Read the rest of this entry »