Cover Story

Scandals and Swindlers


The National Sports Council (NSC) bought 23 horses via direct negotiation for RM5.7 million without obtaining approval from the Treasury. Only five of those horses competed in the WEC 2008 while the rest did not fulfill the requirements set by the International Equestrian Federation. The “unfit” horses were handed to several agencies including the Royal Malaysian Police, KL City Hall and University Teknologi Malaysia.


The Sports Ministry’s delay in replacing the fireworks-damaged roof of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur has made it a danger to users. Merdeka Stadium Corporation’s 2006 request for RM30 million from the Sports Ministry fell on deaf ears. The 90,000-capacity stadium requires other immediate repairs, particularly the rusty and loose cable screws holding up the roof. This could jeopardise the safety of users especially if the roof collapsed during an international events.


The 73.64 million National Feedlot Corporation project in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, produced only 3,289 heads of cattle (only 41.1 per cent of its target). However, it was still able to supply meat on a daily basis to fine-dining restaurants linked to Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family. Further, an RM81 million loan granted by NFC to a related company National Livestock and Meats Corporation (NLMC), was used to purchase a luxurious condominium unit in One Menerong Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.


The Customs Department under-utilised its RM290 million information technology system but is planning to spend another RM451.30 million to develop a new one. The audit report showed that poor planning and implementation caused the Customs Information Service (SMK) to add 10 more contracts worth an additional RM30.18 million. The project was also delayed between 12 and 52 months for each of the three phases.



The audit report found that direct negotiations and delays caused a spike in the cost of a project for a baggage transfer system from KL Sentral to KLIA. The project price doubled from the initial cost estimate of RM92million to the actual cost of RM186million. Although the project has been ‘ready’ since 2008, it has not been utilized by passengers because Malaysian Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) intended to charge RM45 per passenger to send their baggage from KL Sentral to KLIA. This is higher than the price of an ERL ticket between the two points (RM35).



Tourism Malaysia overpaid RM194 for advertisements without tender, against treasury regulations. The ministry also spent a whopping RM1.95 million to buy racks for its tourism pamphlets for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign. The audit report said that with an open tender process, the same jobs would have only cost RM75.38 million.



Only 76 of 90 properties owned by the government in foreign countries had proper land ownership documents. For instance, the land title for the Malaysian ambassador’s official residence in The Hague is still in the name of the original owners. The security at seven foreign missions was also not satisfactory, risks include insufficient and non-functional closed-circuit television cameras, faulty fencing and security alarms. – The Rocket