Opinion

No ship on horizon but bad debts settled Ponzi-style

God help this country if this is how its finances are being managed.

Yoursay – Malaysiakini

11 Aug 2022

Kilimanjaro: What is this taking money meant for one to pay the debt of another? And this is not peanuts – it was RM400 million. How did the Finance Ministry approve this?

And was there a provision in the agreement to take a bulk sum to pay for bulk purchases? Whatever is in the news and what can be gleaned from the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report is that the money is to be released based on the level of completed work. Is this a case of breaches and non-compliance?

This sob story by Armed Forces Pension Fund (LTAT) chief executive officer Ahmad Nazim Abdul Rahman about helping 3,000 engineers and 400 local vendors is twisting the story. What has this got to do with the delays, payments not according to the level of work completed and the alleged missing money? Can any of these people give straight answers?

By all means, help the engineers and vendors, but this has nothing to do with the issues raised in the PAC report.

One thing that we can come away with is that either the initially approved contract was way off the mark or the provisions of the agreement were given scant regard. In a way, the agreement was treated just like a piece of paper.

This not only sets a dangerous precedent, it also warrants a half-yearly report to the PAC to ensure compliance, or if corrective action is to be taken, it should be based on properly audited reviews.

Limfly: Going by LTAT boss Ahmad Nazim’s explanation, it looks like another company will soon be formed to get another government multi-billion contract to buy Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) and pay off its debts that were incurred when BHB bought PSC Industries Bhd with its debts from a previous failed multi-billion project plus BHB’s new debts from the LCS project.

We don’t need billionaire George Soros to attack Malaysia to destroy our economy. We can very well do it all by ourselves.

Hrrmph: That’s how we deal with problems – by window dressing it. PSC Industries failed but instead of dealing with the problem, they covered it up with a new deal.

When are we going to learn that the only way to deal with a problem is to deal with it?

If there is manure on the floor, covering it up with carpet does not solve the problem, it just gets smellier by the day until all the maggots start crawling out. But crawl out, those maggots certainly will!

Too often, the government deals with endemic/systemic problems by pushing them down the line. We are now seeing all the maggots coming out for 30 years, and more, of maladministration.

It is incredibly disheartening to see the government doing the same thing, time and again – passing the buck and covering up, instead of solving the many problems besetting this country.

The problems are not going away. It will come out, one way or another, and the longer we hide it, the bigger the explosion is going to be.

BobbyO: This is justifying the impossible. Why are taxpayers’ monies used to settle debts incurred by the failed PSC Industries?

It clearly shows that hanky-panky occurred in the awarding of this project. Even after collecting nearly full payment, they could not deliver even a single ship.

Now that it has been exposed in the public domain, they are trying to do damage control. This scandal has caused serious damage to the governing BN coalition.

When they cannot even deliver a single ship, how are they going to complete all six? So, stop making fools of the public. They had been taken for a ride many times. This is the worst example of corruption, wastage and incompetency.

Freethinker: “Nazim also defended the RM6 billion that has already been paid even though not a single ship is completed, saying the money was spent on buying the machinery needed for the ships’ construction.”

Many people would like to do business using this type of business model – getting the contract money before building the capability of building the ship. For example, if I want to build a house, the buyer needs to pay me in advance, and then only will I only source the tools needed for the construction.

This means BHB does not have the capability to build such ships. This raises the question as to why the contract was awarded to them.

Kim Quek: The LCS project should never have been awarded to the Boustead group as it has proven its incapacity to build naval ships through its previous failure to complete the offshore patrol vessels (OPV) contract.

Judging from the massive siphoning of public funds that have taken place in the LCS contract, it is obvious that the motive of this award is to do exactly that, which reminds us of the infamous 1MDB scam.

As a result, the country’s defence is now unnecessarily exposed to dangers while billions of public funds have gone down the drains. Sad to say, such a pattern of governance seems to stand out as a hallmark of Umno’s hegemonic rule.

BrownCheetah9736: Using money meant for another purpose to cover the debts from a different project, which presumably had overrun its costs as well?

It should have been flagged by the government auditors, internal auditors and external independent auditors. This is wrong from a proper accounting point of view.

This gets murkier and murkier. I am not surprised if LTAT and Boustead are both insolvent. There should be an independent audit conducted under the purview of Parliament to see how deep the hole is and to uncover any more hidden skeletons.

Monty: These scandals just boggle the mind. What has the LTAT board, comprising, among others, retired generals, done? Or are they also pleading ignorance?

And the recent demonstration by LTAT staff demanding their promised pay rises. All these losses of money have affected the dividends of the soldiers. No wonder morale among veterans and serving servicemen is at an all-time low.

MS: God help this country if this is how its finances are being managed.

The leeches in the Finance Ministry, Boustead and LTAT who coordinated their moves in this treacherous misfeasance, which includes breaking all Treasury guidelines and processes, misusing funds and deliberately lying to the people while hiking up costs, cannot be allowed to roam free.

Thank you, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for ‘Ops Isi Penuh’, for casting aside merit as the single most important criterion for appointments and for nurturing the nexus between crooked businessmen, corruptible civil servants and self-serving politicians.

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

Source: YOURSAY | No ship on horizon but bad debts settled Ponzi-style (malaysiakini.com)

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