Updates 19 July 2019 @ 11:00 am: The “gaji buta” TOPless management of PADU are well paid for championing their own interest instead of the rakyat. This tablet scandal is a very good example for the Minister of Education to see and take drastic actions against them. Unfortunate the Minister is too engrossed with how to get the students to wear “black shoes”! Therefore, he “buat tak tahu” about this scandal worth RM300 million! We shall wake him up soon with more parts to this scandal.
Rumour has it that previous CEO of PADU, Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah, monthly salary was RM60,000 plus perks special allowance, car, petrol and etc, and CFO En Ahmad Izzat bin Zaki more than RM38,000.00 plus perks a month . Both went all out to facilitate the tablet project especially on the one sided contract and making “speedy Gonzales” payments to the special account “Utusan – EPIWEB Collection Account”. PH Government must held both of these two little napoleons personally liable by surcharging them as provided under the General Order because they chose to facilitate bad governance and defy JK Pemandu’s decision of 17 April, 2018 to stop the tablet project before GE14. Both went ahead to pay RM18,402,690.25! The PH Government must also look at the salary scale of the agencies like PADU.
Updates 18July 2019 @ 10:00 pm: Under Phase 1 for the the scandalous Tablet Project, PADU contracted with Utusan that upon acceptance of the “Surat Setuju Terima” (SST) by Utusan, PADU shall immediately pay 95% of the value of SST of RM50 million. PADU paid RM47.25 million to the Special Purpose Vehicle Account called “Utusan – EPIWEB Collection Account” without a single tablet being delivered by Utusan. This aspect of the ridiculous contract was not even highlighted in the “Autar” General Report. You don’t need capital to do business with PADU. PADU will abuse Rakyat money to help you. Actually not for the normal rakyat but a special breed only.
As the dishonesty and collapse of the RM360 million free computer tablet project for teachers nationwide spins out of control, the Auditor General’s Report 2018 kept elegantly silent over the debacle.
The full scale of the scandal was not revealed in the report and that speaks volumes about the culture of systemic graft involving political and corporate entities under the previous Barisan Nasional government.
Auditor “Autar” General Tan Sri Madinah binti Mohamad has dragged herself into the scandal by overlooking critical issues in the report about the project which is under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE).
That makes the contemptible mismanagement of taxpayers’ money even more outrageous as multiple top civil servants had breached their duties as government officials to partake in misusing funds together with private entities.
Since yours truly published four articles that exposed discrepancies, wanton management of funds, outsiders gate crashing the project and zero governance, it is becoming clearer by the day that the rot is getting deeper.
It must be noted that at the material time Tan Sri Madinah was the secretary general (KSU) of MOE before her appointment as
Auditor “Autar” General from February 2017 to February 2019.
On 13 June 2016, the disgraced Tan Sri Madinah chaired the ‘Pre-Price Negotiation Meeting’ to discuss the proposed contract for the E-Tutor Tablets between PADU Corporation (PADU) and Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad for seven phases, where Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, who is not a party to the contract, attended as Utusan Melayu sdn Bhd’s (Utusan) representative, HERE.
For context, the contractual parties for the project are PADU Corporation, a company incorporated by guarantee under the purview of MOE, and Utusan.
The RM360 million funding was granted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to MOE but MOE, when Tan Sri Madinah was the KSU, passed the Tablet Project to PADU. Why?
The said contract, without open tender, was for the free supply of 430,000 computer tablets with pre-installed Tutor Guru app and Utusan Malaysia e-paper to teachers by June 2018.
The silence of PADU and/or the Minister of Education, YB Datuk Mazlee Malik, confirms the arrogance of power and zero sense of public accountability.
YB Mazlee should learn from YB Gobind Singh Deo, who on learning about the the abuse of MCMC funds in the AG’s Report, immediately instructed his ministry to lodge a MACC report on the misuse of more than RM600 million. HERE.
The Shoddy AG’s Report 2018
Let’s look at the incongruities in the slipshod AG’s report that was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on 15 July 2019.
In para 8-45, it was most unprecedented when the contractual parties were identified by their company registration numbers.
PADU was listed as company no: 1039148 and Utusan 7170-V.
Now, how would the MPs and/or the rakyat know that these company numbers represented PADU and Utusan respectively?
The report was cunningly crafted with the predominant purpose to mislead if not covering up .
It stated that under Phase 1, the tablets for Wilayah Persekutuan and Sarawak were according to specifications but it chose not to touch on phases 2-5.
The MOE had stated in their own report that the Lenovo tablets were not in accordance with specifications under phases 2-5.
The Two Acceptance By Utusan & Payment by Padu for Phase 6 before GE 14
The report also stated that phases 1–5 involving 312,353 units of E-Tutor Tablets were delivered at a cost of RM260.50 million.
For Phase 6, audit found out that on 4 April 2018, MCMC paid RM52.64 million to a company, numbered in the report as 1039148-H (which is PADU)!
It was extremely mischievous of the AG to state:
Bagi Fasa 6, pihak Audit mendapati SKMM menyalurkan dana berjumlah RM52.64 juta kepada syarikat 1039148-H pada 4 April 2018 dan Surat Setuju Terima (SST) telah ditandatanganni oleh syarikat pembekal 7170-V pada 26 April 2018.”
To the unsuspecting eye, this part of the report appears to be perfectly all right.
Except that the AG was mischievous in glaringly omitting the date of the SST, which was also on 26 April 2018!
If this date had been incorporated in the report it would have set off alarm bells.
Why? Because the whole process of issuance of SST by PADU, acceptance by Utusan a were all in done in one day, 26 April 2018, if we were to assume there was only one acceptance letter from Utusan, and payment made by PADU on the next day.
Even more glaring of the AG’s incompetence or failure to do a thorough investigation was to knowingly failing to state that originally Utusan had signed the acceptance of the SST on 30 April 2018 and subsequently backdated by another acceptance to 26 April 2018 in order to make the transaction look legitimate for what it is worth.
This acceptance letter of 30 April 2018 was extended to your truly by an unknown source in Utusan. A source in MOE also confirmed that there were two acceptance letters from Utusan to support the payment of RM18,402,690.25 namely 30 April and 26 April 2018.
It must be also noted that the report chose to totally ignore the important minutes of JK Pemandu (Steering Committee) of MOE dated 17 April 2018 which in para 4.4 had decided as follows:
Mesyuarat MEMUTUSKAN bahawa Fasa 6 ditangguhkan sehingga selepas PRU14”. Please read HERE.
Yet the CFO of PADU, En Ahmad Izzat bin Zaki, went ahead to prepare the cheque for the then CEO Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah and Datuk Seri Alias bin Ahmad to sign. Three of them chose to defy the said JK Pemandu’s decision of 17 April, 2019, and proceed to pay the RM18,402,690.25 to the Special Purpose Vehicle Account called “Utusan EPIWEB Collection Account”. After the RM18,402,690.35 was paid, not a single tablet was delivered because of the one sided agreement.
The Famous Datuk Seri Alias Bin Ahmad
By the way Datuk Seri Alias bin Ahmad (Alias) was appointed KSU of MOE after Tan Sri Madinah was appointed “Autar” General in February 2017, HERE. When he was involved in the “solar project” in Sarawak! Just a bit of background of Alias, when he was the DG of Immigration Department he had knowledge of UKSB, the visa processing company, HERE. Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the former DPM, was charged for corruption involving UKSB! Sarawak Report had reproduced letter from Najib, the then PM, to Datuk Seri Alias, the then KSU of MOE, to disburse RM130 million for the scandalous Solar Project for schools in Sarawak which cost RM1.25 billion, HERE. This scandalous solar project had been investigated by MACC.
These three little napoleons (Khadijah, Izzat & Alias) were extremely efficient when making payment to the special purpose vehicle account. They were prepare to ignore procedures and decisions made by MOE’s JK Pemandu. WHY? WHY? WHY? “Tahu sama tahu”!!!
These three little napoleons should be held personally liable for this payment of RM18,402,690.25 and be surcharged under the General Order of the Government. These two little napoleons must be taught a lesson and be an example for other civil servants. Although Khadijah’s contract was not renewed, and Alias had retired, they could be made personally liable under the General Order. Surcharged them for abused of public fund!
The Statutory Declaration As Proof Of Deliveries
The said Report also chose to totally omit the fact that for Phase 1 the proof of deliveries were supported by Statutory Declaration (SD) signed by Datuk Mohd Noordin bin Abbas, the then MD of Utusan. Upon receipt of these two SDs, PADU immediately paid out the remaining 5% for Phase 1 and 2 to the “UTUSAN-EPIWEB Collection Account”. What a good way of doing business with PADU!
The report also chose to glaringly omit that all payments made by PADU were not to Utusan but to a special purpose vehicle “Utusan – EPIWEB Collection Account”, which is not a party in the agreement between PADU and Utusan. There was no mentioned in the said Report which party were all the payments made to by PADU.
Reliable sources in MOE said that 2,000 units of tablet under these two SDs are unaccounted for. The total value of it is RM1.7 million.
The Payment For Phase 6 – Why Redberry, a Siew Ka Wei’s outfit, was paid from the Special Purpose Vehicle Account?
All said, it was a very poor attempt by the then “Autar” General, Tan Sri Madinah to assist in the covering up of this scandalous payment of RM18, 402,690.25!
It must be noted that from this special purpose vehicle account the RM18,402,690.25 payment for Phase 6 was deposited on 30 April 2018.
On the same day, RM10,402,690.25 was paid to Redberry Sdn Bhd (Redberry), which is an outfit under tainted ex-Tourism Malaysia chairman, Siew Ka Wei (Siew). Siew is the current executive chairman of public listed Ancom Bhd, Group MD of Nylex Bhd and MD of Redberry Media Group. On 9 January 2019 both Siew and his media specialist in Redberry Media Group, Elizabeth Ken, were arrested and detained by MACC, for their alleged involvement in the scandalous “Speedy Gonzales” RM99.693 million Geeko – Tourism Malaysia Deal, HERE.
What was this RM10,402,690.25 payment for? God only knows.
Whether Redberry was paid any money under phases 1-5 must be made public. Redberry was not a party in the agreement between PADU and Utusan and neither was it a party in the supply agreement between Utusan and Epiweb Sdn Bhd.
What we know is that Siew Ka Wei was listed as a Utusan representative – when he was never with the company — without designation in a pre-price negotiation meeting with PADU, chaired by Tan Sri Madinah, on 13 June 2016.
The role of Redberry‘s media specialist Ms Elizabeth Ken was also disclosed by this blog, HERE. She signed the Supply, Delivery and Maintenance Agreement on 3 December 2015, between Utusan Melayu and Epiweb Sdn Bhd as the witness for the latter’s signatory, En Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, who is not a director of the company, but well connected politically.
The Letter of YB Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Syed Keruak dated 22 April 2016
It would appear from this that as early as in December 2015 (5 months early), Ms Elizabeth Ken had prior knowledge of the impending tablet project, which was only proposed by the then Minister of Communications and Multimedia on 22 April 2016, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Keruak.
Datuk Salleh only issued a letter dated 22 April 2016 specifically stated that MOE was to manage funds granted by MCMC for the said tablet Project the purchase of tablets for teachers using MCMC funds and that his ministry had no objection to a grant of RM50 million for this tablet project.
Quite frankly, the AG’s Report on the tablet project is a sham and not worth the paper it was printed on. It is a case of “Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi”!
The Ministry of Finance and MACC must investigate why this “half past six” report was crafted to mislead Parliament and the Rakyat.
Close Down The Useless PADU
This tablet project has been shrouded with secrecy. One would have thought that a project worth RM360 million would have been widely published in PADU’s website and its Annual Report 2016 and 2017 . The 2018 report is coming out and it is pretty sure that the Tablet Project will not be mentioned at all too. . But not a word about the tablet project was published in the PADU’s website or in its Annual Reports. PADU’s top management knew that the tablet project is just a sham. PADU’s existence is now open to big question mark. PH Government should close it down and save all the money for more usual activities that will really help the teachers and students. Close down PADU and the government will do a big favour for the nation.
Stay Tuned for Part 6