• Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 29th of March 2016

    Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

    In a parliamentary reply on the 8th of March, 2016, to a question asked by MP for Batu Gajah, V.Sivakumar, on the effectiveness of the chili planting program conducted by NAAM and the amount of funds that were channelled to NAAM, it was revealed that an amount totalling RM19 million was given to Yayasan NAAM via the Ministry of Youth and Sports (See Appendix 2).[1]

    Yayasan NAAM or the New Affirmative Action Movement is a registered company chaired by the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, M. Saravanan.[2] The other board of directors / trustees include Krishnan A/L Letchumanan or L. Krishnan (former MIC MP for Teluk Kemang)[3], Mathuraiverna A/L Marimuthu or M.Marimuthu (current MIC CWC Member)[4] and Selva Kumar A/L Mookiah (MIC Legal Advisor)[5]. (Appendix 1)

    The awarding of government funding to an NGO that is effectively controlled by a political party is totally unacceptable and unethical. One can imagine the furore that would have been caused if the Penang state government had channelled state funding to an NGO that was controlled by the DAP and has a free hand to use the funds to conduct its political activities. MACC would have been unleashed to investigate this NGO immediately.

    The signing of the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Yayasan NAAM in May 2014 does not make this abuse of government funding any more acceptable.[6] The recent revelation of a corruption case involving the embezzlement of RM107 million in the Ministry of Youth and Sports shows that the abuse of funds and corruption can happen under the nose of the Minister. What more when it involves a company that is not audited by the Auditor General and that is not under the control of the Ministry of Youth and Sports? More than two years after it was first registered, Yayasan NAAM only has a bare bones website and for a foundation that is supposed to reach out to the youth, it does not even have a facebook or a twitter account.[7]

    I call upon Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, to explain why funds from his Ministry were allocated to this MIC controlled NGO and to give us his assurance that there has not been any abuse of government funds by Yayasan NAAM.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Appendix 1: List of Directors of Yayasan NAAM

    Appendix 2: Parliamentary Answer on Yayasan NAAM being allocated RM19 million from the federal government

    [1] According to this report, a grant of RM37m had been allocated to Yayasan NAAM http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/04/30/naam-aims-to-give-indian-youth-a-lift/

    [2] http://www.naam.org.my/v1/index.html

    [3] http://www.lions308b1.org/home/our-district/district-governor/

    [4] http://www.mic.org.my/about-us/leadership/cwc

    [5] http://www.mic.org.my/news-events/press-statements/2014/press-statement-mr-selva-mookiah-legal-advisor-malaysian-indian

    [6] http://www.kbs.gov.my/my/ucapan-menteri-kbs.html?download=11:majlis-menandatangani-memorandum-persefahaman-dan-ikrar-integriti-korporat-oleh-yayasan-naam-dan-kementerian-belia-dan-sukan and http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [7] There is a facebook account for Persatuan NAAM Wilayah Persekutuan (https://www.facebook.com/NAAMWP) and a twitter account for NAAMWP (@naamwp) but there is no account for the foundation or the organization at the national level.

  • Questions to ask Khairy Jamaluddin regarding the MACC investigation into massive corruption involving an officer with the Ministry of Youth and Sports

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 21st of March, 2016

    Questions to ask Khairy Jamaluddin regarding the MACC investigation into massive corruption involving an officer with the Ministry of Youth and Sports

    I was greatly disturbed when I read about the RM100 million scandal involving a civil servant from the Ministry of Youth and Sports that was revealed by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) last weekend.[1] I understand that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, will be giving a press conference at his Ministry later today at 10am to address this issue. Given the seriousness of this investigation, including assets worth RM20 million and cash in 69 bank accounts totalling RM8.3 million found belonging to this civil servant, I ask that the Minister answer the following questions in order to shed more light on this case:

    1) Have you been briefed by the MACC or received any information from the MACC about this investigation?

    2) Are any of the individuals who have been arrested by MACC still working at the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies?

    3) Do you think there are others who are still working at the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies who will be arrested by the MACC as a result of the investigation?

    4) Do you think there are others who are working in other Ministries who will be arrested by the MACC as a result of the investigation?

    5) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    6) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the National Sports Council / Majlis Sukan Negara, either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    7) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the Malaysian Youth Council / Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM), either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    8) You signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as part of an initiative by the Anti-Corruption National Key Results Area (NKRA) under the Government Transformation Program (GTP) in May 2014.[2] Can you spell out specific changes in the procurement process and / or the awarding of contracts in the Ministry of Youth and Sports as part of the Corporate Integrity Pledge?

    9) Some have speculated that the key person arrested from the Ministry of Youth and Sports is the secretary of the finance department, Otman bin Arsahd. Can you explain in detail the process in which Otman would approve of payments by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and any of its related agencies to companies with contracts, directly or indirectly, awarded by the Ministry and any of its related agencies?

    10) Some have speculated that the real mastermind behind this scandal is the former Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Dato’ Mohid bin Mohamed, who is now the Deputy Secretary (Policy) at the Ministry of Multimedia and Communications. He was one of the people associated with irregularities in spending for past events organized on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports including the infamous K-Pop concert during the 2012 National Youth Day / Hari Belia Negara.[3] He has been the subject of many blogs posts which hinted at his role in corrupt dealings in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.[4] Were you aware of these accusations and did you change any processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in order to address some of the accusations and / or shortcomings?

    11) One of the companies named in the Parliamentary Account Committee (PAC) hearing on the K-Pop concert and the expenditure during the National Youth Day is Stadium First Sdn Bhd. This company was also named in one of the blogs accusing Dato’ Mohid bin Mohamed and Otman bin Arsahd (and a few others) in the Ministry of Youth and Sports of corrupt practices. Did Stadium First continue to receive any contracts from the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies after you became Minister of Youth and Sports?

    I am sure that the public would also be interested in hearing Khairy answer these questions in as much detail as possible.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament

    [1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/projekmmo/berita/article/pegawai-kbs-songlap-rm100j-beli-kereta-audi-beg-hermes-cincin-cartier

    [2] http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [3] http://www.parlimen.gov.my/images/webuser/pac/laporan%20pac/PAC21112013-DR1.pdf, http://accountable.sinarproject.org/people/mohid-mohamed

    [4] http://rizalhashim.blogspot.my/2013/06/yb-kj-youve-been-forewarned.html?m=1, https://dupahang.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/ramai-bengang-rm10-juta-untuk-himpunan-belia/, http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.my/2015/01/shaberys-new-mcmc-appointee-under.html?m=1, http://www.tranungkite.net/v12/modules.php?name=AvantGo&op=ReadStory&sid=2931

     

  • Possible appointment of Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar as the next Bank Negara Governor raises concerns

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 14th of March, 2016

    Possible appointment of Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar as the next Bank Negara Governor raises concerns

    I read the disturbing news reported by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar bin Abdullah, the current Chief Secretary of Ministry of Finance, will be named as the new Central Bank Governor of Malaysia after Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.[1]

    I want to raise some concerns regarding Dr Irwan’s role in multi-billion ringgit debts of Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd, a 99% Ministry of Finance owned company. Pembinaan PFI first rose to prominence when the 2013 Auditor General’s report showed that it had accumulated liabilities of close to RM28 billion at financial year end 2012, putting it only behind Petronas and Khazanah among government owned entities (See Figure 1 below).

    Figure 1: Three government owned companies with the highest amount of liabilities in financial year 2012


    Source: Auditor General’s Report 2013

    Dr. Irwan was appointed to the board of Pembinaan PFI in 2012 when he was the Deputy Secretary in charge of policy in the Ministry of Finance (MoF). After he was promoted to Chief Secretary of the MoF, Dr. Irwan remained as a director of Pembinaan PFI.

    The Auditor General’s report prompted a Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) investigation into Pembinaan PFI. The PAC report was released in March 2015, a copy of which can be downloaded from the parliament’s website.[2] The testimony of the witnesses, including Dr. Irwan, clearly showed the spending incurred by Pembinaan PFI is nothing more than a creative way to hide development expenditure from the official budget and in doing so, artificially keep Malaysia’s debt to GDP ratio at below the 55% mark. Pembinaan PFI is not funding expenditure through private finance initiatives (which its name implies) since there is no private money involved in these projects.[3]

    Indeed, during the PAC meeting, Dr. Irwan admitted as much when he said the following to the Chairman of the PAC:

    “Ini Tuan Pengerusi, your understanding is very clear. That you know this is off-budget. It doesn’t come in to the government so that why you know our debt level and rating and everything we can maintain.”

    Dr. Irwan’s role in relying on off-budget expenditure items in order to maintain our official debt levels and ratings raises concerns about his responsibilities as the next Bank Negara Governor. Will he also rely on creative accounting for other sensitive economic data such as BNM’s official reserves? Will he paint an unrealistically positive account of the Malaysian economy via BNM’s economic reports and fail to flag areas of concern such as the possibility of a growing fiscal deficit?

    When asked by The Edge TV on the specific issue of Pembinaan PFI, Dr Irwan gave a misleading answer.[4] He likened the projects under Pembinaan PFI with the MRT project, stating that the payback period is over a very long horizon while in actual fact, most of the projects under Pembinaan PFI are not capable of revenue generation. This kind of obfuscation is also worrying especially during these economically challenging times when clarify of thought and explanation are needed in order to assure the jittery markets.

    The markets are looking for a steady pair of hands to replace Dr. Zeti as the next BNM governor. Any of the three current Deputy Governors would have sent a strong signal to the markets that the independence of BNM will be maintained. The appointment of Dr. Irwan, if true, does not give any reason for the markets to be assured and in fact raises more questions about the independence of our central bank moving forwards.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysia-finance-ministry-official-to-be-new-central-bank-chief-1457721640

    [2] http://portal.parlimen.gov.my/ipms/modules/risalat/res/risalat/2015/Laporan%20Jawatankuasa%20Kira-Kira%20Wang%20Negara%20Parlimen%20Ketiga%20Belas%20-%20Prosedur%20Kawalan%20Pengurusan%20Syarikat%20Pembinaan%20PFI%20Sdn%20Bhd%20(Kementerian%20Kewangan).pdf

    [3] The building of schools, for example, is usually financed through the development expenditure of the government budget. The projects, including the building of schools, financed through Pembinaan PFI, are all off-budget expenditure items which means that the government doesn’t have to officially borrow money to finance these projects. Pembinaan PFI, as a 99% MoF owned company, borrowed the money from EPF and KWAP. The Malaysian government has to help Pembinaan PFI service these loans to EPF and KWAP through its operating expenditure or OPEX.

    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HlN7ygkN-c

  • Reveal the consortium which was awarded the right to build 150MW solar scale utility farm

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 27th of February, 2016

    Reveal the consortium which was awarded the right to build 150MW solar scale utility farm

    The decision to award the contract to build a 50MW utility scale solar farm without any tender process to 1MDB Solar Sdn Bhd in May 2014 was highly questionable given that 1MDB did not have any experience in building and operating any solar power plants.[1] This 50MW solar power plant would be the biggest in the country, at the time of writing. It was also reported that 1MDB had been given the right to develop up to utility scale solar farms with up to a 500MW capacity.[2]

    The manner in which the contracts to build these utility scale solar farms is totally inconsistent with the manner in which the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) quotas for small scale solar installations (less than 425kwh) are given out – via open balloting – through the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA).

    It appears that the Ministry for Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) has not learned from past lessons. At the end of last month, January 2016, KeTTHA secretary-general Datuk Lo Took Gee, announced that a 150MW utility scale solar farm had been awarded to a “consortium that is financially and technically strong” without disclosing the name of the consortium.[3] This is highly unacceptable from the perspective of disclosure and transparency especially for what a solar farm that is three times the size that was awarded to 1MDB.

    One cannot help but wonder if the consortium which was given this 150MW solar farm contract has anything to do with the sale of Edra Global Energy by 1MDB at the end of 2015.

    What is equally disappointing is that the SEDA seems to be completely cut off from the process of awarding these utility scale solar farm contracts even though it has the power under the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011 to advise the Minister on and to implement policies related to renewable energy.[4]

    In the interest of transparency, I call upon the Dr. Maximus Ongkili, the Minister for Energy, Green Technology and Water to publicly disclose the identity of the consortium which was awarded the 150MW utility scale solar farm and to ensure that all future utility scale solar farms are awarded via an open tender.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2014/05/05/1mdb-plans-giant-solar-farm-it-is-believed-to-have-formed-a-joint-venture-with-tnb-and-a-us-firm-fo/

    [2] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/factual-clarification-on-50mw-solar-power-plant-in-kedah-1mdb-dusable-capit

    [3] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/01/27/call-for-more-solar-power-plants/

    [4] See Sections 16 & 17 of the SEDA Act 2011

  • Disappointed that the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Mustapha Muhamed, failed to take up my challenge to set up a special parliamentary committee to monitor the implementation of the TPPA

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 27th of January, 2016

    Disappointed that the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Mustapha Muhamed, failed to take up my challenge to set up a special parliamentary committee to monitor the implementation of the TPPA

    During my speech on the TPPA this morning, I challenged the Minister of International Trade and Industry to set up a special parliamentary committee to monitor the implementation of the TPPA during the 2 years leading up to possible ratification after the TPPA is signed on the 4th of February, 2016.

    Unlike other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the TPPA will involve 27 amendments for 17 acts before it can be ratified by the participating countries. This special parliamentary committee would have monitored and given input for these amendments in order to ensure that they are consistent with international best practices. It would also have monitored changes in rules and procedures under the various ministries which do not require parliamentary approval. It would also have played the role of ensuring that the certification process which will be conducted by the United States is done in a way which is fair and does not privilege special interests which may try to influence the process. Finally, this committee should have the power to recommend to the Minister that Malaysia pull out of the ratification process if they find that it is not in the best interests of our country to go through with the TPPA.

    Sadly, in his winding up speech, the Minister failed to even address this suggestion. This means that the process of ratifying the TPPA would be done in a less than fully transparent and accountable manner. This would undo much of the credibility which the Minister and his Ministry has built up through their public engagements to explain the TPPA.

    It is not too late however for the Minister to take up this suggestion. I urge the Minister to announce the setting up of this special parliamentary committee before the signing of the TPPA in Auckland, New Zealand on the 4th of February, 2016.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

Page 10 of 58« First...89101112...203040...Last »