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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Opinion: 'So much public funds wasted, so little action taken'

Written by Teo Nie Ching 
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 16:40
Last Updated: 1:22pm, Apr 08, 2014

UNLIKE delays in tabling the Auditor-General’s Report in the previous years, the 2012 Report was tabled before the end of the 2nd sitting in 2013. Such improvement is definitely a positive move as MPs can now debate the AG’s Report more often and also enhance the rights of information amongst all.

However, the frequency of the tabling of the AG Report must also in line with the quick remedial and punitive action especially against those who have misused the public fund.

The discrepancies revealed in the 2012 Audit findings, inter alia, are as follows: -

1. The RTM had paid RM20,630 each for five (5) A3 size scanner that were in fact RM1,000 a unit and RM14,670 each for three (3) A4 scanners that were actually worth RM200 a unit; 

2. The RTM had also bought 20 branded wall clocks and paid RM3,810 each for a clock that estimated budget were in fact RM100 per unit; 

3. PDRM had lost 309 units of assets in the sum of RM1.33 million comprising of 156 handcuffs, 44 units of firearms and 29 units of vehicles; 

4. The Customs Department had destroyed 7,659 pairs of new footwear because the shoes did not meet the specifications so that was RM602,089 down the drain; and 

5. The Youth and Sports Ministry had spent RM2.4 million to bring in three (3) South Korean pop groups for the National Youth Day celebrations as the sponsors withdrew.

Bear in mind all this money wasted came from the people. The next question before us is, what have the Authority done so far to hold the liabilities against? Whether any personnel being investigated and charged?

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim in his Parliament’s written reply dated March 31, 2014 stated that, as of November 21, 2013, 39 Show Cause Letter or “Surat Tunjuk Sebab” had been issued to 30 officers and 9 retired officers.

And after the issuance of such letters,  

(a) 19 officers are still going through disciplinary investigations,

(b) 2 officers are found guilty and disciplinary actions will be taken,

(c) 6 officers are being investigated by the MACC,

(d) 3 officers are found not liable, and

(e) the 9 retired officer are found not liable too, after the investigations.

At the same times, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim also revealed that 17 investigating papers have been referred to Jabatan Peguam Negara by MACC and the status of these cases are as follow: -

(a) 9 cases were closed;

(b) 7 cases have been referred back to MACC for further investigation;

(c) only 1 retired officer was charged in Kota Bharu Sessions Court for forging documents.

So much public funds were wasted, and yet, so little actions have been taken. As such, how could we be satisfied with the outcomes and have confidence that such corruption will not repeat itself?

Teo Nie Ching is DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary and MP for Kulai

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