For Part 1 please read HERE.
Disgraced corporate genius and ex-Tourism Malaysia chairman Dato Siew Ka Wei (SIEW) appears to be in the centre of another failed lavish government CONtract.
The man who in January this year spent four days in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) lock-up over a probe into the dubious RM100 million “Speedy Gonzales” tech deal involving Tourism Malaysia (TM)/Ministry of Tourism and Culture is now implicated in a Ministry of Education (MOE) rip-off.
SIEW and/or his outfits are seen as one of the key players in the disastrous RM340 million project, which involved MCMC Funds, to digitalise teaching in schools nationwide.
The initiative was meant to narrow the digital divide between teachers and students, which was a good decision, but it ended with all and sundry exploiting the said failed project.
Despite on 17 April 2018 Jawatankuasa PEMANDU Program ICT Sekolah Kementerian Pendidekan Malaysia Sessi Khas 2/2018 “Memutuskan bahawa Fasa 6 ditangguhkan sehingga selepas PRU 14”, Padu Corporation (PADU) defied the said decision and on 27 April 2018 (some 12 days before 14th GE) it proceeded to pay another RM18,402,690.25 to Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad (Utusan) in lightning speed for Phase 6.
At that material time, PADU and MOE had full knowledge that the said tablet project for Phase 2 to 5 were failures. After the payment of RM18,402,269.00, not a single tablet was delivered to teachers!
ZERO GOVERNANCE IN PADU
The funds in PADU were managed with zero governance, to say the least. For example, the proof of deliveries of the tablets by Utusan to the teachers were done by sending copies of Statutory Declaration (SD) affirmed by its Group CEO, Dato’ Mohd Noordin Bin Abbas to PADU. Based on the said SD, PADU’s CEO, Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah, and PADU’s CFO, En Ahmad Izzat bin Ahmad Zaki, happily made payments of a few million Ringgit each upon accepting the statutory declarations as proofs of delivery! The little napoleons in PADU, treated the funds in PADU as their own or cash cow!
The funds from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) were channeled to PADU, a company incorporated by guarantee under the purview of MOE.
PADU awarded the contract to Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad (UTUSAN) without open tender to supply free 430,000 units of computer tablets with pre-installed Tutor Guru app and Utusan Malaysia e-paper to teachers by June 2018.
It is startling that SIEW, the former Chairman of TM, executive Chairman of Ancom Bhd, managing director of Nylex Bhd, Redberry Media Group (Redberry) that owned the defunct Malay Mail, wore the Utusan Malaysia hat to attend the meeting in MOE.
THE 13 JUNE 2016 “PRE-PRICE NEGOTIATION” MEETING IN MOE
In the minutes of a “Pre-Price Negotiation” meeting on 13 June 2016 between PADU and Utusan Melayu, Dato Siew was listed without any designation under the Utusan team that attended the session.
The meeting to discuss pricing and supply of the gadgets to teachers in Sarawak under the first phase saw the attendance of all the MOE top guns.
They were the then Ketua Setiausaha (Tan Sri Dr Madinah binti Mohamad, who was later appointed the Auditor General), Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha (P) (En Jamil bin Rakon), the then Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif unit Pelaksanaan & Prestasi PADU (Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah, whose contract expired on 31 May 2019 and was not renewed), Setiausaha Bahagian Perolehan dan pengurusan Aset (Tuan Haji Shahid-Din bin Khatib), Pengarah Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan (Tuan Haji Zaidi Bin Yazid), Timbalan Setiausaha Bahagian (K) Bahagian Kewangan (b), Ketua Pegawai Kewangan Unit Pelaksanaan & Prestasi Pendidikan (PADU) (En Ahmad Izzat bin Ahmad Zaki), Pengarah (Transformasi) Unit Pelaksanaan & Prestasi Pendidikan (PADU) (En Mohaammed Zekri bin Ghazali), Pegawai Khas KSU Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM) (Cik Afidah binti Ashad) and Pengurus kewangan Unit Pelaksanaan & Prestasi Pendidikan (PADU) and (En Mohd Hizwan bin Ahmad).
According to reliable sources in MOE, the “three musketeers” in the scandalous tablet deal in PADU were:
Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah, the then CEO of PADU;
En Asrul Satria bin Abdul Rahim, the Special Officer to CEO; and
En Ahmad Izzat bin Ahmad Zaki, CFO of PADU
Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd were represented by its Pengarah Esekutif Kumpulan (Dato’ Mohd Nordin bin Abbas), the corporate genius Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei for Utusan Malaysia (M) Berhad (with no post) and Pengurus Besar Perkhidmatan Korporat & Pengurusan Risiko Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd (En Ahmad Razif bin Mohamed).
Siew Ka Wei’s role in the project raises worrying issues.
- He was never part of Utusan Malaysia (M) Bhd group. So, in what capacity did he attend the pre-price negotiation meeting and subsequent discussions?
- Did Utusan authorise his attendance as their representative?
- If so, were the MOE and PADU made aware of this and checked on the credential of Siew Ka Wei?
- In 2018/2019 Redberry Group and Nylex Bhd sued Utusan for the return of deposit for advertising — RM8.5 mil for Nylex and RM4.5 mil for Redberry. Wasn’t it strange that SIEW, who is the MD for Nylex and Redberry, sued Utusan when he represented Utusan in the said tablets “Pre-Price Negotiation” Meeting on 13 June 2016? Please read HERE, HERE & HERE.
- Siew Ka Wei was appointed chairman of Tourism Malaysia on 21 Sept 2016 and it would have been unethical of him to have continued to be in this tablet business up to end of April 2018.
If you think the shady “Speedy Gonzales” RM100 mil CONtract with TM, where Siew Ka Wei and Elizabeth Ken were arrested and detained for four days by MACC, was bad wait till you see what had actually took place in the shady RM340 million tablet deal. The deal was funded using the MCMC Funds.
For a start, SIew Ka Wei, who was never part of Utusan Melayu, had attended the Padu’s Pre Price Negotiation meetings of the so-called tablet deal as a representative of Utusan Melayu. Siew Ka Wei is a well known corporate genius of all times! No wonder he could hold on as the Chairman of Ancom Bhd, a public listed company and MD of Nylex Bhd.
In the interim, Puan Latheefa Koya, the newly-minted DG of MACC should swing into action to investigate the failed tablet Project worth a total of RM340 million involving MCMC Funds.
Yours truly calls upon YB Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia and Datuk Dr Mazlee bin Malik, the Minister of Education, to uncover the irregularities that caused the tablet projects to fail and the wanton disbursement of funds.
Stay Tuned For The Continuing Expose in Part 3.