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)

“An audit found no evidence that JTLM performed the required market research. However, JTLM had a price estimation which the department is unable to verify its basis of calculation,” it said.

The department did not even receive these items as intended in the agreement for its newly-built boat, which was contracted to Kejuruteraan Kapal Masai Sdn Bhd for designing, building, outfitting and testing at RM7.51 million.

For example, the LCD TV with DVD player was replaced with a RM195 Philips DVP3560K, while the night vision Marine binoculars were replaced with Marine 137507 binoculars without night vision, that cost RM1,069.

The outboard engine that was delivered was a two-stroke 15 horsepower engine costing RM6,549, when the contract had specified a four-stroke 15 horsepower engine which the report estimates to cost RM11,553.

Other ‘downgraded’ items were:

•Refrigerator: Mitsubishi MR-18BA (RM629) instead of Panasonic NR B261M (RM1,299)

•Stove: Taiyo (RM2,110) instead of Electrolux 60cm induction stove (RM6,955)

•Global Positioning System: Furuno GP320GPS WAAS Sensor (RM1,066) instead of Samyung Navis-700 (RM5,060)

•CCTV system: Belco (RM640) instead of Paradox (RM5,750)

•Laptop and colour printer: Acer Travel Mate 4740 and Cannon Pixma MP258 (RM2,137) instead of Acer Aspire 3935 and HP CP 1518in (RM11,845)

The department had paid the price stipulated in the contract despite not getting the equipment, leading to an estimated loss of RM114,912.

‘Lives of crew at risk’

The boat which was delivered also failed to adhere to the desired specifications, with its 1,000 litre water tank being downgraded to 600 litres.

Its emergency doors which should be accessible from both sides can only be opened on one side and the doors are attached with 18 screws.

“From the auditors’ check with the ship’s crew, it was found the time taken for the emergency door to be opened in the deck house is approximately 20 minutes. This increases the risk of loss of life if an emergency occurs,” says the report.

It further notes that the boat was delivered 42 days late, and that the contractor is liable to a penalty of RM1,252.24 a day, which comes up to RM52,594.08.

However, only RM23,792.56 was collected, with the remaining RM28,801.52 being unaccounted for, the report adds.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 3:14 am

    One Malay came to my office and bought a drink machines for RM 4500 and sold it to the Govt for RM12,000.
    I know the selling price as I went on a service after sale checking and the buyer must tell us where the machines will be installed…for the said… 1 year free service after sale facilities.
    I guess you can say…it say…it is willing buyer..willing seller tactics to cheat tax payers legally.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 7:57 am

    Motto of GLCs- “Why worry, not my money”

  3. #3 by Godfather on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 9:32 am

    Aiya, you negotiate not for a lower price, but for a higher price so that someone can share in the commissions and approve all the variations. If there is no higher price to justify feeding the UMNOputras, why bother with doing the deal in the first place ?

  4. #4 by shahrulazmiahmad on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 5:40 pm

    This bloody people who spent our money… unjustifiable!

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 - 11:05 pm

    Binoculars can zoom 29 times ar?Good lah for FLOM first lady.Very convenient for window shopping.Soon she will order the one that could zoom ten thousand times to window-shop birkin bags,g-strings and diamonds.

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