14 September 2007

Pak Lah: ACA must probe those named in A-G’s report

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) should step in and investigate any suspicion of corruption in ministries and government agencies implicated in the Auditor- General’s (A-G) Report 2006 for mismanagement of funds, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Prime Minister said the report was open to be read and scrutinised by all, including the ACA.

“And where the information causes suspicion, then of course the ACA should go in and investigate. We will not hinder the ACA from carrying out investigations,” he said yesterday after the seventh National Small and Medium Enterprise Council meeting at Bank Negara here.

It was reported that the ACA was scrutinising the AG's report to see if any of the transactions or projects involved corruption.

Since Budget Day on Sept 7, when the A-G's report was released, newspapers have been highlighting the detailed findings of financial irregularities.

These include the Youth and Sports Ministry paying RM224 for a set of RM40 screwdrivers, RM5,700 for a RM50 car jack, and RM1,146 for a RM160 pen set; the police air wing spending RM118mil for two helicopters that did not meet flying specifications and another RM15.4mil to train pilots to fly these helicopters, and; the Customs Department spending RM290mil for an outdated, user-unfriendly information system.

Abdullah said the ministers whose ministries have been implicated have already assigned officers to look into the matter and prepare clarification statements.

He had questioned the ministers at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

“All ministers said they have already put officers in charge to clarify the matters raised in the report. So they are already attending to it,” he added.

On another matter, Abdullah said the Government has not received any formal proposal or formal request from Volkwagen AG’s (VW) about its interest in forging a partnership with Proton Holdings Bhd.

“It has not come to us formally yet. All matters regarding VW are still under discussions,” he said.

A news report said that VW had proposed to take up a 20% stake in Proton and gradually increase this to 50% within five years.

The Government’s investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd has a 43% stake in Proton.

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