Yesterday yours truly had posted an article about the bribery scandal involving two AirAsia and AirAsia X executives, HERE. After several hours of the UK Crown Judgment / Verdict dated 31.1.2020 about the two directors of AirAsia were found to have received bribe of of US$50 million (RM204 million) from Airbus had gone viral, the MACC Chief Ms Latheefa Koya acted expeditiously and announced that MACC was in contact with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of UK, HERE.
She should be applauded for taking swift actions in public interest on the said bribery scandal involving the two directors of AirAsia.
Ms Latheefa Koya was right to state in her press statement that:
“Under the MACC Act, we are empowered, and have jurisdiction, to investigate any act of corruption committed by any Malaysian citizen or permanent resident in any place outside Malaysia.”
The AirAsia bribery scandal is not a difficult case for MACC. From a legal stand point, the SFO of UK must already have more than sufficient evidence to prosecute Airbus for bribery based on the evidence it had gathered. Hence, in the light of the evidence, Airbus was compelled to propose a settlement in order to defer prosecution pending approval from the Crown Court in UK. If Airbus did not enter into the settlement then it will be prosecuted for bribery and etc.
According to to the said Judgment / Verdict the SFO even possessed email correspondence from a director of AirAsia demanding furhter payment of US$4 million. The said email also mentioned that US$16 million had been owed to me for ages when I bought the first 60 aircrafts.
Yesterday yours truly called upon MACC, SC and Burtsa KL to act on the damning evidence exposed in the said Judgment / Verdict of the said Crown Court.
Transparency International Called Upon SC To Act On The Bribery Scandal
This morning Transparency International called upon SC to investigate into the Airbus having paid a bribe of US$50 mil to AirAsia Executive 1 and AirAsias Executive 2 as stated in the said Judgment / Verdict, HERE.
SC has issued a press statement this morning that it will also investigate into the said bribery scandal.
“The statement of facts in the case of Regina vs Airbus SE discloses several allegations against AirAsia Group Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd.
“As both are listed on Bursa Malaysia, the Securities Commission Malaysia will examine the allegations and review all available evidence to determine if there is any breach of securities laws,” SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said in a statement, HERE.
Yours truly believes that this coming days Bursa KL will also commence its investigation into this bribery scandal.
The Spin Doctors For AirAsia
The spin doctors AirAsia was in great pain in trying to spin out of the very tight corner. But it was a miserable poor attempt, HERE.
It must be noted that in the said Judgment / Verdict Airbus had admitted to have bribed the two top brass of AirAsia and AirAsia X. The press statement by AirAsia did not touch one single bit about the Agreed Facts in the Judgment / Verdict of the UK Crown Court that Airbus had paid US$50 million (RM204 million) to AirAsiaExecutive 1 and AirAsia Executive 2!
However, it was very glaring that the spin doctors in AirAsia did not dare to spin on the US$50 million (RM204 million) bribe paid to and received by AirAsia Executive 1 and AirAsian Executive 2. Why? It must be that AirAsia knew too well that two of directors in AirAsia had received the RM204 million bribe from Airbus.
We can only feel sorry for the spin doctors in AirAsia was caught in the mess created by the two top brass in AirAsia and AirAsia X.
It is an open and shut case. It will not be too long that the two culprits in AirAsia will be dragged to the Court to be charged with receiving bribe and/or money laundering. Now that SC is also investigating the bribery scandal.
It Is Almost Impossible For AG to NFA The Bribery Scandal
It will be almost impossible for AG to NFA (No Further Action) this matter like the scandal costing Tourism Malaysia RM100 million, which involved Dato’ Siew Ka Wei, the executive chairman of Ancom Bhd, and the Redberry Media Specialist, Ms Elizabeth Ken, HERE & HERE. But we will never know.
Lets sit back and wait for the interesting movie on the Airbus bribery scandal to develop.
Updates on 9-8-2019 @ 3:00 pm: At last PADU saw it fit just to upload its Annual Report 2018, which was marked “Coming Soon” in PADU’s website. Nothing was written about the. scandalous tablet project in the said report. PADU couldn’t talk about it in its said report because PADU knew from day one that it was just a very questionable project!
Updates on 7-8-2019 @ 10:45 am:It was reported in Sabahkini today that the KSU of MOTAC, which is one of the most scandal ridden ministries, Datuk Isham Ishak, was detained by MACC for the investigation into the original “Speedy Gonzales” Geeko deal of RM99.693 million with Tourism Malaysia (TM).
On 9 -1-2019 Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, the former chairman of TM and executive chairman of public listed Ancom Bhd and MD of the defunct Malay Mail, and his Redberry media specialist Ms Elizabeth Ken, who is also the shareholder and CEO of Geeko Tech, were detained by MACC for this scandal, HERE &HERE. Reliable sources in MOTAC has confirmed that Datuk Isham Ishak was not detained by MACC as reported by Sabahkini. Datuk Isham Ishak has been known to control the finances in MOTAC very tightly resulting in a few little napoleons in MOTAC and TM are not happy with him.
By co-incidence Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, the corporate genius, and/or one of his outfits, Redberry Sdn Bhd, also surfaced in the tablet scandal involving PADU, HERE &HERE.
Updates on 3-8-2019 @ 11:45: Yours truly has just added the Jawatankuasa Pemandu of MOE‘s minutes of meeting (Siri Khas – 3/2018) dated 5 March 2018. The all powerful former CEO of PADU, Puan Khadijah Abdullah, was present in the said meeting, and knew that the tablets in Phase 4 were off specs. It was a fundamental breach of contract but Khadijah chose to make payments, after payments. No wonder she was hand picked to be part of Bank Negara MalaysiaI! What a joke! Please read on to know her ZERO governance as CEO of PADU.
The corrosive effect of the bombed RM360 million project to provide free 430,000 computer tablets to teachers nationwide is degrading sound governance in the public sector.
The funds came from MCMC, which is under purview of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. YB Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister has reported to have said that the two funds (MCMC Fund and USP Fund) will be independently audited, HERE. When the news of the abuse of MCMC Fund broke out, on 16 July 2019 YB Gobind had announced that his ministry will lodge a report with MACC, HERE. It is unclear whether the ministry had lodged a report with MACC.
PADU Corporation is a company incorporated by guarantee under the Ministry of Education (MOE). It continues to act with impunity, fuelling secrecy around its deal with project contractor, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad (Utusan).
PADU’s clandestine financial manoeuvring has also seen millions of ringgit uncontrollably going into the coffers of the main contractor, Utusan, supplier of the gadgets, Epiweb SdnBhd and a totally uninvolved company, media group Redberry Sdn Bhd (Redberry), in the agreements between PADU – Utusan and Utusan – Epiweb Sdn Bhd. .
Desperate to cover up questionable acts, PADU failed to mention the mega tablet project in its 2016, 2017 and the latest 2018 Annual Reports.
That’s a major mistake that reeks of scandal and abuse of taxpayers’ money.
Why there Was Total Silence Of The RM360 million Tablet Project in The PADU’s Annual Reports?
By not including in the PADU’s Annual Reports for 2016, 2017 and2018(2018 Annual Report was launched last week but in its website it is shown “Coming Soon”) the tablet project that was meant to digitalise education in public schools, it is crystal clear that the Padu topLESS management is very embarrassed over the dubious dealings. What are they trying to hide? Or they knew that this tablet project was just a shady deal from day one! We can only guess from the conduct of the little napoleons in this dubious transaction.
Obviously PADU was trying to keep the project a secret and perhaps thought no one would dig into the glaring irregularities.
This blog has in recent weeks published exhaustive reports into the whole affair, along with supporting documentary proof of how the project was grossly mismanaged in broad daylight by the little napoleons, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5and Part 6.
All Payments Made by Padu Into Special Purpose Vehicle Account – Why The Eagerness To Pay?
Troubling questions abound and one that is weighted around the neck is: Why was PADU was so eager to make payment to the special vehicle account “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account”?
It is also baffling that Redberry, which was never a party to the contracts benefited greatly from the project, unless of course, the company through its supremo Dato Dr Siew Ka Wei, who is also a corporate wizard, had been pulling the strings from the very start.
On 13 June 2016 Dato Dr Siew Ka Wei attended the Pre-Price Negotiation of the Tablet Project meeting as an Utusan’s representative when he was not an employee of Utusan, HERE.
We know that in Phase 6 despite the Jawatankuasa Pemandu of MOE Reports of 5 and 8 March 2018 and the Jawatankuasa Pemandu’s decision not to proceed with the phase, PADU chose to ignore both and paid out RM18,402,690.25 without delivery of one single unit of tablet to the teachers up to now, HERE.
Why RM10,402,690.25 Was Paid Out from the Special Purpose Vehicle Account To Redberry?
We also know that upon receipt of the RM18,402.690.25 for Phase 6, RM8 million was paid to Utusan and RM10,402,690.25 to Redberry, which was not a party to contract between Padu – Utusan or Utusan – Epiweb Sdn Bhd.
Who is Dato Dr Siew Ka Wei?
Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei (Siew) was the former chairman of Tourism Malaysia, who was arrested on 9 January 2019 snd detained for four days by MACC pertaining to the “Speedy Gonzales” Geeko Tech RM99.693 million deal with Tourism Malaysia.Ms Elizabeth Ken was also arrested and detained together with him. Ms Elizabeth Ken is the shareholder and CEO of Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd.
Siew is the executive chairman of the public listed Ancom Bhd, group MD of public listed Nylex Bhd and MD of Redberry Media Group, which owned the defunct Malay Mail and Malay Mail online. Ms Elizabeth Ken is the media specialist of Redberry Media Group. The famous Datuk Wong Sai Wan is the editor in chief of Malay Mail and a directors of several of Siew’s outfits. – one of which is Titanium Compass Sdn Bhd that was awarded with exclusive advertising in the MRT stations in one of the routes, HERE.
Siew and his business partner Tan Sri Al Amin were extremely powerful under BN until the 14th GE.
Ms Elizabeth Ken signed as a witness in the agreement between Utusan – Epiweb Sdn Bhd for the supply and maintenance of the said tablets, HERE.
Why was Redberry paid RM10,402,690.25 in Phase 6?
Was Redberry paid under Phase 5?
How much in total was Redberry paid from Phase 1 to 6?
Were PADU and MOE aware that Redberry was getting paid?
JK Pemandu of MOE Already Found Out in Phase 4 the Tablets Were Not In Accordance With Specs! – Khadijah Abdullah, the former CEO of PADU, knew about it!
On 5 March 2018Jawatankuasa Pemandu of MOE met and decided as stated in the minutes below:
Puan Khadijah Abdullah, the all powerful former CEO of PADU, was a member of JK Pemandu of MOE. According to the above minutes of meeting of JK Pemandu of 5 March 2018, Khadijah had full knowledge that the tablets supplied by Utusan under Phase 4 wereNOT in accordance with the specs in the agreement. She was also part of the decision to examine those tablets that have not been delivered under Phase 5 and if those tablets found to be off specs, the supplies are NOT to be proceeded with.
As you read on you will no doubt see that Khadijah had no respect for rules and procedures / GOOD GOVERNANCE. Khadijah chose to DEFY the above decisions of JK Pemandu of 5 March 2018 and MOE IT Department’s finding of 8 March 2018 (random check on the 20 tablets to be off specs).
On 8 March 2018 Random Check By IT Department of MOE On 20 Tablets in Phase 5 Not In Accordance To Specs
Try figure these out:
On 5 March 2018 Jawatankuasa Pemandu MOE had already discovered in Phase 4 that the tablets were not in accordance with the specs and had decided to examine the tablets under Phase 5 before distribution. If those tablets found not to be in accordance with specs as per contract then the said tablets can not be distributed. At the material time, Khadijah Abdullah was a member of Jawatankuasa Pemandu and had full knowledge of the tablets were off specs.
On 8 March 2018, Ministry of education (MOE) did a random check of 20 units of the tablets at Utusan’s warehouse and found that all the 20Lenovo tablets were not in accordance with the specifications in the contract.
Despite Lenovo Tablets Not In Accordance With Specs – PADU Paid Out RM9,016,947.50
Despite this damning reports of 5 March 2018 and 8 March 2018, on 21 March 2018 PADU under the leadership of Khadijah Abdullah ignored the Jawatankuasa Pemandu’s said two reports and paid out RM9,016,947.50!
The MOE must come clean to explain why it allowed PADU to ignore or defy its two unfavourable reports of 5 and 8 March 2018.
MACC should also investigate why MOE allowed PADU to defy all rules and procedures in order to make payment.
The One Sided Payment Schedule for Phase 5
Let’s look at Phase 5. The schedule of payment was extremely favourable to the vendor, Utusan or … .
Upon signing of “Surat Setuju Terima” (SST) by PADU and acceptance by Utusan, Padu paid the first 35% of the contract price (RM19,125,424.50 for Phase 5) – the first payment.
The 2nd payment of 25% was paid upon both parties signing all the documentation and presenting to PADU within 3 weeks – RM13,661,017.50.
The 3rd payment of 15% was paid upon PADU being in receipt of Bill of Lading – RM8,196,610.50.
In another words prior to delivery of a single unit of tablet to the teachers and without checking the specs, PADU paid out 80% of contract price – RM40,983,052.50! What a fantastic deal for the vendor, Utusan or … , of the tablets.
The 4th payment of 15% (RM9,016,947.50) under Phase 5 was paid upon confirmation that tablets were delivered to the warehouse of Utusan and delivery order issued by Utusan.
The 5th payment is the 5% retention sum held by PADU. In Phase 1 and 2 of this scandalous project PADU paid the 5% to Utusan based on the Utusan’s statutory declaration as proof of delivery, HERE.
In Phase 1, upon signing of SST and acceptance of it, PADU paid Utusan 95% of the contract price and remaining 5% retention sum was also paid out based on Utusan’s statutory declaration as proof of delivery!
From the above payment schedule, you don’t really need any capital do business with PADU. Padu is just vendor friendly by funding it upfront.
Khadijah Abdullah Has Been Appointed As An Officer In Bank Negara Malaysia???
Here’s another thunderbolt: Yours truly has been informed that the then all-powerful “Hebat” CEO of PADU, Puan Khadijah Abdullah, is now been appointed as an officer in Bank Negara Malaysia or its related agency. How’s that for her zero governance in PADU and trust?
Besides what have been stated about the zero governance under her leadership in PADU, it was Khadijah who dared to exceed her authority upon the issuance of “Surat Setuju Terima” (SST) amounting to a whopping RM51,911,866.50 for Phase 5. This was not the only Phase that exceeded the RM50 million mark.
It is standard practice in PADU that SST above RM50 million be approved by the Board of Trustees of PADU.
So, can you blame the rakyat if they want to know the role of Khadijah, who does not care about proper governance and/or the law, in Bank Negara.
The deafening silence of PADU and/or MOE in the tablet scandal is most shocking. Is MOE trying to help PADU cover up this scandal?
PADU is a national wastage. It should be shut down forthwith to save taxpayers’ money.
Under the guise of management fee, controversial government agency PADUCorporation (PADU) made an unprecedented request for RM7 million or 2% of the RM360 million meant to provide free computer tablets to teachers nationwide.
This came even after PADU had been paid RM1.1 million as one-off payment to manage the scheme by the project funder/Cash Cow, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) under Phase 2.
The contractor, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad (Utusan), refused to meet PADU’s 2% demand, stating in a letter dated 9 April 2018 that it was not agreeable to paying the said amount.
The salient points in the said letter, signed by none other than one of the key players in this scandalous project Datuk Mohd Noordin bin Abbas (a former banker), Managing Director of Utusan, are as follows:
The requests by PADU for the RM7 million or 2% management fees exceeded our authority including myself;
SKMM never agreed that this fees to be paid to PADU;
When this tablet project was discussed in 2016 the necessity of this fees had not been brought up;
During the meeting on 11 January 2018 Pengarah BTP and CEO of Padu, Puan Khadijah Abdullah, who had attended the meeting, had agreed to apply to Prime Minister Office through Minister of Education for the management fees; and
For Utusan, we act as a DELIVERY CONTRACTOR of the Tablets to the teachers as directed by PADU and MOE.’
The Four Key Little Napoleons For Phase 1 – 6
The RM7 million Or 2%
The 2% request raises a troubling question whether PADU, a company incorporated by guarantee under the purview of Ministry of Education (MOE), was asking for a “clawback” or “kickback”.
Yours truly will boldly regard this a “kickback” because it is a norm for management fee to be entered into contracts at the outset and more so not sat the tail end.
According to the said Utusan letter of 9 April 2018 even the MCMC was not informed about PADU seeking RM7 million from Utusan.
MCMC had granted the RM360 million funding to PADU, which contracted Utusan to provide 430,000 tablets, pre-installed with E-Tutor app and Utusan Malaysia newspaper, to teachers over seven phases.
If PADU needed another round of management fee, it should have incorporated the 2% into the contract at the start and informed the relevant authorities.
Doesn’t the demand for management fee, more than a year after the contract was signed, indicate that the price of the tablets was INFLATED?
Basically, there was too much money in hand that would encourage predators to prey on the millions of Ringgit.
After all, it was a ‘god sent’ contract whereby even delivery of the gadgets was ridiculously supported by Statutory Declaration (SD) in HERE.
In the SD, Utusan had specified that if it failed to deliver the gadgets, it will compensate PADU RM573 per tablet. The thing is, Padu was contracted to buy per tablet at RM853 from Utusan. At this moment no one know how much was the actual cost of the tablet.
According to a report from MOE, Huawei tablets were according to specs for Phase 1 and Lenovo for Phase 2 – 5 not according to specs. We will together discuss this damning report in more detail in another part later. If we are to assume that the actual cost of the tablet was RM573 per unit then, Utusan was making RM280 (RM853-RM573) per tablet for just playing its role as delivery boy so to speak. It was too good to be true that Utusan made a profit of RM280 per tablet! If the profit was RMM280 then Utusan would have made RM120.4 million for the 430,000 tablets! God forbid!
Is Epiweb Sdn Bhd A Special Purpose Vehicle For WHO?
Who was the real culprit behind this Special Purpose Vehicle “Utusan-Epiweb Sdn Bhd Collection Account”? Who was the biggest beneficiary of this special Purpose Vehicle? Only an in-depth investigation into the paper trail by MACC will reveal the real culprit. We are lucky that YB Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister of Communications and Multi Media had announced that his ministry will lodge a report with MACC over this scam. Lets see when the ministry will do it. Yours truly would have thought that in the light of what have been exposed the Minister of Education would have reported tis matter to MACC. may be the minister is too preoccupied with the sorting out the issue of black and white shoes!
Remember there was another middle man in this transaction called EPIWEB SDN BHD, the so-called supplier of the tablets to Utusan. En Khairul Firdaus, who is not a director of Epiweb Sdn Bhd and signed the supply agreement with Utusan. Upon receipt of RM18,402,690.25 on 27 April 201 (justbefore 14 GE) for most questionable Phase 6, the special purpose vehicle “UTUSAN-EPIWEB SDN BHD Collection Account” paid out RM10,402,690.25 to Redberry Sdn Bhd, which was not a party to the contract between Utusan – Padu or Epiweb Sdn Bhd – Utusan, HERE. The remaining RM8 million of the RM18,402,690.25 received from PADU went to Utusan. It would appear from this particular transaction Epiweb Sdn Bhd received nothing from the payment under Phase 6! This raises more questions for PADU and MOE to answer. For phase 1 – 5, did Reberry receive any payment from this special purpose vehicle – “Utusan – Epiweb Collection Account”?
Redberry Media Group (Redberry) is one of the special outfits of Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, who was arrested and detained by MACC together with Ms Elizabeth Ken in connection with the ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Geeko Tech RM99.693 million deal with Tourism Malaysia for four days in January 2019. By coincidence, Ms Ms Elizabeth Ken, who is a shareholder and CEO of Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd and the media specialist of Redberry and Dato Dr’ Siew Ka Wei (Siew) is the MD of Redberry. Siew is also a current executive chairman of public listed company Ancom Bhd, which is the parent company of Redberry, and Group MD of Nylex Bhd (part of Ancom Bhd). Redberry is the owner of the defunct Malay Mail (printed version) and the equally famous Datuk Wong Sai Wan is the editor-in-chief, who is a director of several of Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei’s outfits. Datuk Wong is the only one of a few editors in chief in Malaysia , who is a director of several companies, HERE.
PADU, The “VENDOR FRIENDLY” – Must Be Shut Down!
By all accounts, one can declare PADU the most “vendor friendly” company in the world!
PADU must be shut down for gross mismanagement and sloppy supervision of what was a novel IT project to digitalise education. At last the little napoleons at the top management in PADU had fleeced it like other projects under the last BN administration. Its existence is a waste of public fund. In the interim, the PH government must commission a forensic audit into its accounts.
The deafening silence on the part of PADU and/or MOE is most alarming. Don’t tell us the Minister of Education is equally “Tidak Apa” as the little napoleons in PADU!
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.
The then Auditor “Autar” General Tan Sri Madinahbinti 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, Dato’ Dr 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 Dato’ Dr 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.
Updated at 16 July 2019 @ 8:30 pm: YB Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister of Communications & Multimedia said that his ministry will lodge a MACC report over the abuse of MCMC Funds as stated in the Auditor General Report 2018, HERE.
Updated at 16 July 2019 @ 11 am: Auditor-General Report 2018, which was tabled in Parliament today, at para 8-64 (e) states that “the department had done a random check in the schools in Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya and the tablets were according to specs as per contract”. This was correct as for Phase 1 of the project. Wilayah and Sarawak is under Phase 1. Brand of tablets for Phase 1 was Huawei. Huawei tablets were according to specs as per contract. As for Phase 2 – 5 Lenovo tablets were supplied instead of Huawei. According to two reports dated 8th March 2018 and 11 June 2018 by Ministry of Education the Lenovo tablets, which were supplied, were not in accordance with the specs. It is strange that the Auditor General Report chose not to mention about Phase 2-5. Furthermore, in the said AG report the name of PADU and Utusan Melayu were left out. It refers to PADU by Company No: 039148-H) and Utusan by No: 7170V with no names. It is most unusual for AG Report not to mention names of the company or organisation in its report. Why the omission? Something to hide? It looks like a “half past six” report on the scandalous tablet project!
It must be noted that Tan Sri Madinah Binti Mohamad was the Secretary-General of MOE in 2016. She chaired the first “Pre-Price Negotiation” meeting on 13 June 2016 where the tablet project was discussed and the famous corporate genuis, Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, attended as a representative of Utusan, HERE. Tan Sri Madinah had attended many meetings and wrote several letters to facilitate this tablet project. Subsequently, she was appointed as the infamous Auditor General from 20 February 2017 to 22 February 2019. The 2018 Auditor General Report was prepared during her time. Therefore, it is understandable why the said report was written in such a way! Another shameless character.
Yours truly has just included the minutes of Pemandu meeting of 17 April 2018 below which stated that Phase 6 to be stopped until after 14th GE. Please read para 4.4 of the said minutes. However, Puan Khadijah Abdullah (CEO of PADU) and En Ahmad Izzat Zaki (CFO of PADU) proceeded to make payment of RM18, 402,690.25 for Phase 6 of the scandalous tablet project. Up to this date, not a single tablet has been delivered because of the lopsided contract. These two culprits must be held personally liable.
Yours truly will discuss this issues in greater details in the other part later.
The sham over the failed mega project to provide free 430,000 computer tablets to teachers nationwide has uncovered more filth.
Media group Redberry Sdn Bhd, a non-player in the bombed RM340 million project, was paid a hefty RM10,402,690.25 under Phase six of the scheme.
Up to this date, PADU had received a total of RM310 million from the cash cow, MCMC, supposedly for this tablet project!
Documents obtained by yours truly from a reliable source show that on 26 April 2018 (just before 14th General Elections (GE) ) PADU Corporation (PADU) issued a “Surat Terima Setuju Terima” (SST) in lightning speed to Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (Utusan).
On 27 April 2018 PADU immediately issued a cheque amounting to RM18,402,690.25 to the “Utusan-EPIWEB Collection Account”, which does not appear to be a legal entity by itself. At the time of the issuance of the said cheque, Utusan had yet to accept the SST. This was evident of zero governance on the part of PADU. It was treating MCMC as a cash cow!
On 30 April 2018RM10,402,690.25 was paid out from the bank account of “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account” to Redberry Sdn Bhd (Redberry), which is controlled by the disgraced ex-chairman of Tourism Malaysia (TM), Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei. The RM10,402,690.25 represented 56.52% of the total of RM18,402,690.25 from PADU. This was for Phase Six only!
Whether Redberry was paid any money under the previous Phases 1 – 5 of the tablet project that is under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE) must now be revealed.
The contractual parties for the project are PADU, a company incorporated by guarantee under the purview of MOE, and Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd.
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 funds were granted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to PADU. Up to this date, MCMC, the cash cow, had paid RM310 million to PADU from its MCMC Funds.
PADU had paid about RM270 million to the special purpose vehicle “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account”. PADU is still keeping the untilised MCMC Funds of RM43 million! Sources in MOE has it that the cash cow MCMC has demanded for the return of the unutilised fund of RM43 million but PADU is ignoring the said demand. There was positive action taken by MCMC to recover the RM43 million.
The Mysterious Redberry Sdn Bhd
Under the agreement between PADU and Utusan, Redberry had absolutely no role.
Similarly, Redberry had zero role under the agreement between Utusan and Epiweb Sdn Bhd, the supplier of the said tablets.
What is clear is that there was zero governance for the said tablet project by PADU.
It is baffling that Redberry, which was never a party of both contracts for the said tablet project, benefited greatly from the project, unless of course, the company through Dato Dr Siew Ka Wei, the well known corporate genius, had played his role more than attending the pre-price negotiation meeting on 13 June 2016. Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei, is the current executive chairman of public listed Ancom Bhd and Group MD of Nylex Bhd. In January 2019 he was arrested and detained together with the Redberry Media Group’s media specialist, Ms Elizabeth Ken by MACC, HERE. The defunct Malay Mail is part of Redberry Media Group.
What we know so far, as disclosed by yours truly, is that Dato Dr 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 on 13 June 2016. Please read HERE.
Since this blog exposed the debacle more than a week ago, no one has explained in what capacity Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei attended the pre-price negotiation meeting and possibly subsequent discussions and whether MOE and PADU were made aware of his role.
It was also disclosed that Redberry media specialist Ms Elizabeth Ken signed the Supply, Delivery and Maintenance Agreement between Utusan Melayu and politically-connected Epiweb Sdn Bhd as a witness for the latter on 3 December 2015, HERE.
It would appear from this that as early as in December 2015, 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.
The red flag, it appears, never came up and questions abound.
Why was Redberry paid?
How much in total was Redberry paid?
Were PADU and MOE aware that Redberry was getting paid?
Legally speaking, all payments should be paid to Utusan, the actual contractual party between PADU and Utusan, but the disbursements should have raised another red flag.
Below is what happened:
The cheques were made out to the account “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account” which is not a legal entity, unless Utusan had assigned all sums payable to this special purpose vehicle and account.
Minutes of PEMANDU Meeting Of 17 April 2018
On 17 April 2018, the “Jawatankuasa Pemandu” of MOE (the special Steering Committee of MOE) decided that the tablet project be stopped until after 14th General Election. It would appear that PADU was given full power from somewhere to defy all decisions made in Steering Committee (Jawatankuasa Pemandu”).
BothPuan Khadijah (CEO of PADU) and En Ahmad Izzat (CFO of PADU) were present in the Pemandu meeting and knew of the decision taken to stop Phase 6 until after 14th GE and yet both went ahead to signed the cheque on 27 April 2018 for RM18, 402,690.25! These two officers must be made personally liable for the said payment by surcharging under the General Order of the government.
Another example was that the then all powerful CEO of PADU, Puan Khadijah binti Abdullah, dared to exceed her authority with the issuance of SST amounting to RM52,579,115.00 . It is the standard rule or practice that SST above RM5 million must be approved by the Board of Trustees of PADU. The officers of PADU do not care about proper governance and/or the law. The officers are the law!
The Powerful Personality
A powerful personality outside PADU and/or MOE was instrumental in getting PADU to proceed with the issuance of “Surat Setuju Terima” (SST) for Phase Six despite the decision made by the “Jawantankuasa Pemandu” of MOE on 17 April 2019 to stop Phase Six until after 14 GE. He was so confident that Barisan Nasional would win the 14th GE hands down that he secured a letter from the then Prime Minister’s press secretary to support Phase Six.
On 26 April 2018, the said SST was issued by PADU followed by a cheque for RM18,402,690.25 on 27 April 2018. On 27 April, which was on a Friday, the RM18,402,690.25 cheque was issued but at the material time the SST was not officially accepted by Utusan. This was the type of governance PADU/MOE style!
On 30 April 2018, Monday, (3 days after the issuance of the above cheque by PADU) Redberry then got paid RM10,402,690.25 from the “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account”. Wasn’t it strange that Redberry a non-party to either the PADU – Utusan or Utusan – Epiweb Sdn Bhd agreements was paid RM10,402,690.25?
Silence is no longer an option for PADU/MOE and Ministry of Communication & Multimedia and/or MCMC.