The Truth Revealed

Thursday, November 26, 2009

60 per cent funding ‘diverted’

By Jacob Achoi

MACC exposes abuse, flaw in spending of allocations for certain projects in Sarawak

KUCHING: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sarawak has uncovered government projects in the state where up to 60 per cent of their funding were diverted elsewhere.This startling finding was revealed by MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Zakaria Jaffar here yesterday, but he did not divulge the extent of such abuses.

“Based on the investigations the Sarawak MACC carried out on specific and real cases (projects), only about 40 per cent of the allocations were spent while the remaining 60 per cent is ‘bocor’ (leaked out),” he said.

He said this at a press conference after closing a corruption prevention seminar at a hotel here.

State MACC director Samsiah Abu Bakar and Chief Minister’s Department Human Resource Management Unit principal assistant director Malcolm Yong were among those present.

According to Zakaria, the investigations were carried out on some completed projects between 2002 and last year.

Without disclosing where the projects were and the number of projects investigated, he said they included roads, low-cost houses and mosques.

Zakaria pointed out that while some projects were poorly completed, there were others that never took-off although payment was made.

“When we talk about development projects in the state, there are many cases of fake claims, whether it involves the officers or the contractors,” Zakaria pointed out.

He also told reporters that there were instances whereby contractors got allocations from members of parliament (MPs) and assemblymen for the same projects.

He explained that a project might cost about RM15,000, but the contractor would bid for that amount from both the MP and the assemblyman, thus the contractor would earn 100 per cent profit.

He said the MACC from next year would conduct a seminar for contractors and also MPs and assemblymen.

He suggested that the Sarawak MACC hold such seminars with the state elected representatives, both MPs and assemblymen next year, on allocation for development projects.

Zakaria also urged the public to help MACC fight corruption, adding that the commission could not fight graft all alone.

He said MACC would embark on education to inform the public the importance of their role to help fight graft.

Samsiah, when asked at the press conference whether the state MACC was also investigating ‘high profile’ cases, replied: “Just wait.”

She also said the seminar with the elected representatives from the state would be held from next year.

Yong, meanwhile, pointed out that the state had received a clean bill of financial health from the auditor-general for seven consecutive years.

He said even though there were projects that did not meet the specifications and criteria, the overall picture of the state development projects, both federal and state projects, were completed satisfactorily.
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