Archive for category Tourism
Yesterday, I posed three questions on the RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies scandals for the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to answer in Parliament this week during the 2008 Budget committee stage debate on her Ministry since the non-functioning Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun has clamped up and refused to accept accountability.
Today, I am posing another three questions, giving her adequate notice to prepare for a full and adequate accounting in Parliament to show that as Minister for Tourism, she is fully aware of her responsibilities to live up to the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance although there are “Little Napoleons” in the Pempena Group of Companies who behave as if public funds are their private property which they need not account to anyone.
These additional three questions are:
Question No. 4 – Did she as Tourism Minister receive a request dated 15th October 2008 made jointly by the Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun and the Pempena Chief Executive Officer Datuk Idrus Mohd for a RM5 million injection to keep Pempena afloat, although Chew had publicly denied that there was any such application. What is the Tourism Ministry’s position on the latest appeal by Pampena for an annual RM5 million life-line capital injection for the next two years to ensure Pempena’s continuous viability? Read the rest of this entry »
RM50 million Pempena scandals – 3 questions Azalina should answer as non-functioning Pempena CEO has clamped up
I am posing three questions on the RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies scandals for the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to answer in Parliament next week since the non-functioning Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun has clamped up and refused to accept accountability.
Firstly, why was PricewaterhouseCooper engaged to conduct a high-level business review of Pempena’s 14 Investee Companies and not on all its 24 Investee Companies – especially as most of the 24 investee companies have not been recording operational profits over the last three years.
Out of these selected 14 investee companies reviewed, PwhC has proposed that Pempena should “exit its investments” from five companies, suffering an immediate loss of RM20 million. The five companies are:
(i) Malaysia Tourism Executive Sdn Bhd (“Matex”)
(ii) Sri Kebaya Restaurant Sdn Bhd (“Sri Kebaya”)
(iii) Malaysia Restaurant Hyderabad Limited (“Awana Hyderabad”)
PwhC also proposed the liquidation of another company, My Destination, which will involve a loss of RM7.5 million – making a total loss of RM27.5 million for the “exiting” from five companies and the liquidation of one!
Read the rest of this entry »
MCA Wanita chief and Pempena Executive Chairman, Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun publicly asked me on Thursday whether I will employ and “feed” her if she resigns from Pempena. (Sin Chew Daily, Guang Ming Daily)
My response – Chew should send me her job application with her cv and I will employ her at a salary befitting her real qualifications.
However, Malaysians are amazed at her crass audacity – which is typical of many MCA leaders – that Malaysians owe her a living, and the government must give her a job and “feed” her just because she lost to Tony Pua in the March general election in the Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary constituency!
If this is the case, then Chew should have been truthful in the March general election campaign and should have owned up publicly that she would be “fed” by the Barisan Nasional government even if she loses in the parliamentary contest against Pua – that she was in an envious “cannot lose” situation, whatever the outcome of the election!
Be that as it may, Chew may be out of her job as Pempena Executive Chairman faster than she think, especially if the Star report “Pempena probe has Azalina fuming” (20.11.98) is to be believed, that the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman is mulling over whether to shut down the subsidiary of the Tourism Ministry! Read the rest of this entry »
PAC should investigate into RM50 million Pempena scandals and the role of 2 Ministers/3 Pempena Chairmen during the period
The Public Accounts Commtitee (PAC) should investigate into the RM50 million Pempena scandals and the role of two Ministers and three Pempena Chairmen during the period, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, Datuk Kee Phaik Chin, Datuk Chor Chee Heung and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun in the sorry tale of the multi-million ringgit fraud and criminal breach of trust of tourist promotion projects.
Current Pempena Sdn. Bhd executive chairman Chew Mei Fun convened a special media conference on Wednesday to declare that she would not answer and was not responsible for the RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies as what she wanted was to “focus on revamping the company”.
However, Chew has still to explain whether it is true that she was appointed to her RM10,000-a-month position in Pempena in mid-May but her appointment was backdated to April 1, 2008 – and whether she would return some six weeks’ pay as Pempena Chairman when she had not yet taken up the position.
Furthermore, Chew must explain why she had failed as Pempena executive chairman as she was unable to answer a simple question at the media conference whether “heads will roll” and action will be taken against those in the Tourism Ministry for the tens of millions of ringgit of losses because of fraud and criminal breach of trust.
Chew’s inability to give a simple answer whether those responsible for the RM50 million Pempena scandals would be held accountable is all the more inexcusable from the perspective of competence, accountability and integrity as the internal audit report exposing the financial irregularities, criminal breach of trust and fraud in the various Pempena Group of Companies had been completed and been in her hands for over three months. Read the rest of this entry »
Will former Pampena Chairman Chor Chee Heong step forward to explain the RM50 million Pempena scandals?
The new Executive Chairman of troubled Tourism Ministry subsidiary, Pempena Sdn. Bhd, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun called a press conference yesterday but refused to answer questions about the RM50 million Pempena scandals of bad investments, criminal breach of trust and financial improprieties declaring:
“I will not answer on things that happened before my time. Now I just want to focus on revamping the company.”
Is nobody to be responsible for the scandalous RM54.4 million Pempena investments in 24 investee companies as at June 2008, where Pricewaterhouse Cooper audit has recommended the immediate closure of five companies resulting in instant loss of some RM20 million!
If Chew does not want to assume responsibility for what happened before her time, why didn’t she get the former Pampena Chairman, Datuk Chor Chee Heong, to appear together with her at the media conference yesterday so that questions about the propriety, accountability and integrity of the RM50 million Pampena scandals could be answered? Read the rest of this entry »
I thank the Tourism Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman for giving me a copy of the Summary Report of the PricewaterhouseCooper review of Tourism Ministry’s subsidiary, Pempena Group of Companies but I will write to her for a copy of the Final Report, as the implicit promise she made in Parliament during her winding-up of the 2009 Budget debate on Nov. 3 was for a full and unqualified disclosure of the PricewaterhouseCooper report.
I must admit that I am somewhat surprised by the PricewaterhouseCooper summary report as the Tourism Minister had led Parliament to believe that it is an audit of the various financial scandals of the Pempena Group of Companies, but clearly this important brief was excluded from PricewaterhouseCooper’s terms of reference, which is a clinical “high level business review” of selected investments by Pempena Sdn. Bhd and “specifically does not include any investigative audit or forensics work”.
In fact, it is mentioned in the PricewaterhouseCooper summary report that the investigation into the various financial scandals in the Pempena Group of Companies are “separately performed internally” in an internal audit of Pempena.
Why did Azalina hide the fact from Parliament that there had been an internal audit by the Tourism Minsitry of the various financial scandals of its stable of Pempena Group of Companies, which includes its affiliates Malaysian Travel Business Travel Sdn. Bhd and SD Corp Communication Sdn. Bhd and that such an internal audit had been completed by 14th August 2008? Read the rest of this entry »
Overview of Pempena
In 2005, Pempena established a business plan for 2005-2009 to implement the following key activities:
(i) Equity participation in tourism related industries
(ii) Implementation of activities under the Shopping Malaysia Secretariat
(iii) Placement of funds in the money market and unit trusts.
There were 14 key areas of new businesses indentified by Pempena for implementation.
Pempena planned to invest a total of RM49.8m over the period of its business plan (ie 2005 – 2009) representing equity and profit sharing arrangements.
As at June 2008, Pempena has invested a total of RM54.4m via equity participation in and advances made to the Investee Companies. Read the rest of this entry »
This is to remind the Tourism Minister, Datuk Azalina Othman that it is more than a week since her promise in Parliament to table the PriceWaterhouse report on the various financial scandals of Tourism Ministry’s subsidiary, Pempena Sdn. Bhd.
When replying to me in Parliament on Monday, 3rd November on the 2009 Budget, Azalina said that PriceWaterhouse report into the financial scandals of Pempena would only be ready two days later on Wednesday, and I specifically reminded her at the time to keep her undertaking to present the PriceWaterhouse report in Parliament.
In fact, when she was further questioned on the PriceWaterhouse report, the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who was in the chair at the time, came to her rescue, urging MPs to “bersabar tunggu hari Rabu”…”hingga laporan selesai”.
In my speech on the 2009 budget on October 15, I had referred to the Oct. 13, 2008 expose by the Sun in the report “Over the limit…PSD ALLOWS MINISTER ONLY EIGHT STAFF, BUT 20 ON TOURISM MINISTRY’S PAYROLL”, calling in Parliament for a full explanation for the serious allegation that the tourism minister’s office “has excess baggage”, being overstaffed as “the appointment of some 20 staff breaches the Public Services Department (PSD)’s regulations limiting the appointments to only eight” and that “it defies a Treasury circular on cost-cutting and austerity”. Read the rest of this entry »