TheSUN frotpage today, Wed, 24 Oct 2007 flags off with arresting headline:
AG's report: 10 charged
PUTRAJAYA: Eight government officers and two contractors were charged in court yesterday with misappropriation of public funds as highlighted in the Auditor-General (A-G)'s Report 2006, with the Anti-Corruption Agency saying more such cases are under probe.
Of the officers, two are senior officers from the National Youth Skills Institute (NYSI) under the Youth and Sports Ministry, five from the district welfare departments in Sabah and one from the welfare department in Pahang.
ACA director-general Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan told a press conference that the 10 were charged in Kota Baru, Sabah and Raub where the offences were allegedly committed.
On the NYSI case, 13 people were initially questioned but four were charged for allegedly buying three over-priced cameras. He said the two contractors charged in relation to this case were a supplier and an official from a consultancy company.
He said the five district welfare departments officers in Sabah were charged for allegedly misappropriating aid fund for old folk.
"The investigations found that they paid people who had passed away and made false claims to their department heads."
He said the welfare department officer in Pahang was charged with allegedly misappropriating the aid fund amounting to RM12,175.
The ACA investigated two officers from the same department but only one was arrested.
Elaborating further on the investigations, Ahmad Said said the ACA had also recommended disciplinary action against five officers from the Youth and Sports Ministry related to the alleged misappropriation of funds (in the NYSI case) and a technician from a government agency in Penang for making false claim that the repairs of government counters had been completed.
"The ministry officers involved were found to have attended meetings on the purchase of equipment and facilities for the usage of the NYSI at a higher price," he said, adding that the officers received kickbacks from the contractors to go abroad without permission.
"We are still investigating six other officers," he added.
The A-G’s report on the NYSI project said the ministry paid RM224 for a set of screwdrivers costing RM40; RM5,700 for a car jack that costs RM50; RM8,254 for a digital camera that costs RM2,990; and RM1,146 for a set of technical pens with a market price of RM160.
The ministry was alleged to have spent RM8.39mil on equipment for the NYSI.
Ahmad Said suggested the government review the method of direct negotiation in public procurements practised by government departments. "Other procedure of (public procurement) which are open to abuse should also be reviewed," he said.
He said the ACA also proposed adding a clause explaining offences under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997 in all documents related to government contracts to remind those involved not to receive bribes.
He said the ACA would make it an annual routine to investigate alleged misappropriation of funds mentioned in the A-G's report.
"This was not the first time we took action based on the the A-G's report. Previously, we also took actions but they were not highlighted.We will continue investigating cases based on the report," he added.
DESIDERATA: Just as I was going to top up my Noodles BF with an additional CON BF to celebrate that occasion when one's HOPE is lifted -- with finally some action on ACA's part -- mGf Rajan remarked: Chong, ini IKAN BILIS sahaja-lah!
"You forget so soon the guy (Jack of many trciks?) who built that "small" house, ah? "Rajan just couldn't restrain himself.
You know what, mots of my poltical buddies don't share my Optimistism as a writer anymore in this fight against corruption. Do you blame them?
Okay, I'll settle for French fries. Ikan bilis also cun! Knot nyet the fool CON BF todie, wait till Sunday if I survive all the cynicism.
Now turn to page 2o for Citizen Nades' latest column:
Desi is reproducing only THAT part which explains our cynical lens nowadays, and who can blame my dear EsteemedReaders if they asketh: Ikan bilis, anyone?Be grateful okay, as I copied this in longhand as the online edition is still not up nyet!:(
In R Nadeswaran's words:
But you have to hand it to Mohd Khir. He not only took the initiative
to check the ferries bt also attempted to prove the maxim "It takes one
to know one". Guess who waswith him when the surprise check was carried out?
According to the same newspaper (Desi:The Weekend Mail),he was
accompanied by "Port Klang state assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros!
The country's most infamous law breaker is out trying to catch
the law-breakers! What if the fery operator had turned around
and asked the Mentri Besar: "Dia bina istana tanpa kelulusan boleh,
tapi kami tak cukup life jacket pun mau kacau!"
Thus ends short extract from Citizen Nades' take.
Desi's parting words:
Just chastise Nades a litle hear -- you did not quote that maxim in fool! Doing CSI reporting, You can't be shy-shy wan! Should rightly read as "It takes a thief to catch a thief."
But Desi still welcomes thee to Furong to join me in tehtarik or CON BF!