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

The folding beds were used to train masseuses in traditional post-maternity massage; and the hair clippers were for grooming courses.

The report notes that most of the purchases were done through direct negotiations, not open tender, and without the Finance Ministry’s approval.

Standard operating procedures were not tabled before the Mara board of directors for approval either, reads the report.

Giatmara, which conducts the courses, ‘should provide detailed and complete standard operating procedures for the programme to be uniformly conducted nationwide’.

The report further notes that some decisions to buy equipment did not consider the conditions in which these would be operated.

For example, in Kapit, Sarawak, an oven and sewing machines were provided for a course, even when training centre had no electricity supply.

In other cases, cake mixers and blenders were not useful because these did not have the capacity required for cake mixtures.

Giatmara also bought a grinder with lower specifications to mix fish food, when participants could easily get fish feed in Perak.

The auditor-general has proposed that Giatmara should evaluate the capacity and suitability of each piece of equipment to meet needs.

‘Well-off participants’

Among the courses conducted are baking cakes and pastries, making layer cakes, tailoring and making nasi kandar.

However, some courses were deemed not relevant – such as making layer cakes in Sarawak, baking cakes and pastries in Kelantan, and rearing catfish in Perak.

Participants are to be drawn from those whose income is below RM720 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM830 in Sarawak and RM960 in Sabah.

Yet, the auditor-general’s team found that some of those who attended the courses are well-off and live in bungalows.

“Giatmara has determined that the participants should be registered under e-kasih system under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“However, we found that 72.9 percent of the participants are not registered with e-kasih, under which those classified as ‘hardcore poor’ are registered by the village head, district officers or assistant district officers.

“Worse, some participants are well-off individuals and not the intended target group.”

The auditor-general has proposed that Giatmara checks the background of participants to ensure they are from the e-kasih group.

Even if they are not registered, Giatmara must verify their background in order to achieve targets.

The report adds, worryingly, that 61 participants or 47.3 percent of those interviewed had failed to generate income following the courses.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Monday, 24 October 2011 - 11:36 pm

    ‘Direct negotiations’. This is getting too common and is now SOP. Everyone is using this method. This is how money leaks out of the system. Did the AG check the political affiliations of the suppliers?

    How do they negotiate really? Just sebut harga and then ‘approved’.

    Shouldn’t the approvers / authorisers be questioned, investigated?

  2. #2 by kpt99 on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 12:58 am

    more than 40% of the money floated into the big pockets of all BN cronies.

    Instead just revealing all these questionable prices year after years,stern actions and warning must be taken.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 3:07 am

    This has been going on for decades.
    Big or small tenders…..all are highly over priced.
    Billion $ tenders leave then to the master crook leaders…and appointed cronies.
    When will those ordinary voters….supporting UMNO b….ever learn these rouges are stealing their money and giving back some to selected Muslims.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 3:35 am

    “Helping hardcore poor” is d best n most abused phrase by UmnoB/BN
    It is actually helping d rich UmnoB/BN kaki getting richer
    No wonder after >50 yrs, NEP’s goal of elevating poor Malays/Bumi 2 a better economic status has not been achieved, as they were robbed by rich UmnoB/B kaki
    Only 1 way these robbers can understand – an ending like Gaddafi’s

  5. #5 by k1980 on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 7:52 am

    Gasp… but at least mara stopped purchasing RM25,000 laptops. How many of those laptops are still functioning today? Don’t tell me they need to be upgraded to Windows 7 at the cost of RM50,000 each?

  6. #6 by k1980 on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 7:54 am

    //in Kapit, Sarawak, an oven and sewing machines were provided for a course, even when training centre had no electricity supply.//

    Simple. They just connect the oven and sewing machines to the bicycle dynamo and then order the trainees to pedal away as fast as possible

  7. #7 by SENGLANG on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 8:53 am

    These are among the various reasons why the rakyat become so hateful.

    Each year when the Auditor General’s report is out we we will see how wasteful the government can be.

    Much have been allocated to MARA, and the people have not issue about that, the only issue that the people against was the wastefulness or rather the corrupt system have made it that way.

    We all know when come to government supply chains. The allocation is there. The people who supply and the people who receive the supply will work out exorbitant pricing. The extra from high margin will be reallocate among the various people.

    This was the system and it have been there for decades.

  8. #8 by Godfather on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 9:12 am

    Rakyat didahulukan ? The kampung folks generally still believe this. And it’s what keeps the thieves going…..

  9. #9 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 10:16 am

    Umno cronies didahulukan kampung folks dibelakangkan.Same same like saifool always diliwatkan.

  10. #10 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 11:22 am

    ‘Kroni di-dahulukan’ should be the new slogan.

  11. #11 by Comrade on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 11:40 am

    Cannot continue to let it be
    Govt must be corruption free
    The wrongdoings must be eradicated
    Rural folks have to be educated
    To finally vote out the evil BN lot
    We have got to stop the rot

  12. #12 by dagen on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 1:15 pm

    How did they negotiate the price, sherrif want to know.

    Price for x is say 100 ringgit. Umno gobermen needed say 10. So total 1000. That already has a profit margin built in. But of course kena direct negotiate lah. Otherwise gobermen wont buy from you. So, you need contact. The contact wants 10%. OK. Its 1100 ringgit. He got you to negotiation table. On the other side of the table there are 5 hungry umno members. Each nak 10%. Jadi tambah lagi wot? 500. Jaid harga pun naik to 1600 ringgit. Good accepted. But umno party kena political contribution. Aiyoh. Tak apalah. Add 500. Make the figure 2100. And standard practise, must pay to some umno gobermen people before you get payment. Ni juga kena masuk kira. Say 200 more. There. 1000 became 2300. Wah can tambah just like dat one ar. Then my original 1000 ringgit I better inflate orso man. 2000. And all the time whether the particular x thing is suitable or good enuf is not an issue.

  13. #13 by dagen on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 1:17 pm

    Umno didahulukan.
    Cintanegara ditipukan.
    Orang kampung dibelakangkan.

  14. #14 by trublumsian on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 3:21 pm

    umno => crumbs
    pkr => nothing?

    kampung sycophant are doing the math.

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 8:47 pm

    cintanegara, why so quiet? Are you one of the suppliers in this scheme? This is what the super-ego said about direct negotiation on tenders. It is out right swindling of public money, no wonder they are so afraid of Hudud laws; though they will spin the needs of Islam to justify their aims. Everything is Haram, except CORRUPTION; it isn’t necause it is paper exchange! one can hardly feel surprised after 1 generation of such wantonness in this nation! Every is OKAY in their definition so long it is cash! inspite of the us$ glidding down , the ringgit is maintained with it! this is how best we maintain our treasury!

  16. #16 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 10:54 pm

    cintanegara don’t have much worry lah.After all he still posses the ketuanan rambutan trees that are sufficient to feed his stomach when worse come to worst.But for how long could he maintain those rambutan trees if he himself would be running out of money in this near future.Mengamuk lor bodoh,betul tak,cintanegara?

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