Archive for October 1st, 2013

Clocks, scanners and “miscellaneous items” cost RTM RM9 million, up to 7,200 times over budget

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (4)
by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
October 01, 2013

The Broadcasting Department blew its budget spending RM120,210 on clocks and scanners alone, thus overpaying for these items by thousands of times beyond its actual cost.

Despite budgeting RM100 per unit for a clock and RM200 per unit for an A4-sized document scanner, the Auditor-General found that the Broadcasting Department spent RM3,810 per unit for “branded” wall clocks and RM14,670 per unit for the scanners.

In the 2012 AG Report, it found the department bought 20 branded wall clocks and three scanners for national broadcaster RTM’s offices in three states.

The department paid RM76,200 for the clocks, which was 3,810% above its estimated budget, and RM44,010 for the scanners, which was 7,235 times more than its initial budget.

The department also bought five scanners for A3 sized documents at an inflated price of RM20,630 each – its estimated budget was RM1,000 each. Read the rest of this entry »


Govt overpaid TM by RM11.6m for 999 emergency line, says A-G

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (3)
by Joseph Sipalan
October 1, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 —The government has been told to take back at least RM11.6 million from Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), after the Auditor-General (A-G) detailed a laundry list of “improper payments” and “unreasonable expenses” incurred in the development of the Malaysian Emergency Response System (MERS) 999.

The figure does not include an RM25.88 million lump sum payment made out to the national telecommunications company by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry, which the auditor in his 2012 report said could not be verified but was given ministry approval.

In his 2012 annual report released today, the A-G identified numerous issues surrounding the RM801.55 million project, where funds were carved out from various parts of the project over the course of its six-year development by TM from 2007 to 2012.

This included some RM5.07 million spent by the ministry to cover the cost of organising training workshops and seminars and related expenses for TM staff, which the A-G described as unreasonable.

He said it must be recouped from the project contractor. Read the rest of this entry »


RM38,000 wasted in Health Ministry’s ‘stupid’ campaign

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (2)
Oct 1, 2013

The Health Ministry’s decision to brand smokers as ‘stupid’ in promotional literature cost it RM38,750 after the material was deemed unsuitable for distribution.

The Auditor-General’s Report 2012 states that the ministry had ordered 300 backpacks costing RM19,500 and 3,500 notepads at RM19,250 with the slogan ‘Smoking, a stupid habit for stupid people’.

But the items never made it into the hands of the citizens as the language was later deemed inappropriate.

But the lingual faux pas was not the ministry’s only mistake. Read the rest of this entry »


Backstabber’s guide to Umno polls

Mariam Mokhtar
Sep 30, 2013

Mention the word Umno Baru and people will think of the 3Cs – corruption, cheating and cronyism.

Thousands of miles away, Najib Abdul Razak told the UN General Assembly that “the greatest threat to Muslims today, is not from the outside world, but from within”. His words are poignant and have some gravitas, for they reflect the conditions at home.

Thanks to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the public has become extremely mistrustful of politicians. Thanks also to Mahathir, the biggest challenge which Najib will face at the next Umno-Baru elections, is ironically, within his party.

Many factors will affect the battles during the upcoming Umno-Baru election, including wit and financial considerations. The two men, president Najib, and deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, ‘won’ their seats unopposed. Read the rest of this entry »


Security in schools sees RM2bil go down the tube

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report
Oct 1, 2013

AUDIT REPORT The 2012 Auditor-General’s Report has revealed severe mishandling of RM2.051 billion with regard to hiring security contractors for schools between 2010 and 2012.

From poorly prepared contracts to hiring of septuagenarians as security guards, the auditor-general said the management of security services in 35 schools and hostels surveyed was generally unsatisfactory.

The audit, which involved schools in Selangor, Perlis and Sabah, found that the contracts were not uniform and did not state specific requirements set by the Education Ministry. Read the rest of this entry »


Mind Your ‘Transformation’, Please!

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News
30th Sept. 2013

“Transformational” is getting to be a hollow word. And the Cabinet ministers who brandish it at will don’t seem to understand its meaning. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi just showed he doesn’t when he said the bringing back of detention without trial in the newly proposed Prevention of Crime (Amendment and Extension) Bill was “transformational”. Was he using it simply to be in fashionable sync with the Government Transformation Programme?

Is something retrogressive transformational? Is a return to the provisions of the repealed draconian Emergency Ordinance (EO) and Internal Security Act (ISA) transformational? If it is so, then Malaysians are in for a big surprise. And a nasty one too.

Both acts were considered reprehensible to the public, and therefore the Government was forced to remove them. But that was before the 13th general election was called. Now that it’s over, the Government apparently sees no more need in appeasing the public. Pre-election pledges have gone out the window.

A government that is transformational would not hark back to the dark days of Mahathir Mohamad’s reign, when fear was the instrument used to keep people in line. It should instead be demolishing Mahathirism and restoring the damage done to our institutions. No wonder Mahathir is applauding the Bill and blaming the public for “not (being) that developed or educated to appreciate that the law is for their own good”. But then, that’s Mahathir. Always blaming other people. And always asserting that might is right.

The new Bill proposes detaining a suspect for an initial two years, after which period if a review finds that the suspect should be detained further, he will be held for a further two years. This could go on indefinitely in a series of two-year periods. In this sense, it is no different from the EO and the ISA. Read the rest of this entry »