Gobind: Ministry to lodge MACC report over abuse of funds highlighted in audit report

Jerry Choong
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the Communications and Multimedia Ministry will file a report with the MACC over the misuse of funds earmarked for the MCMC. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will file a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the misuse of funds earmarked for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

Its minister Gobind Singh said he viewed the recent findings of the Auditor General’s Report 2018 Series 1, released yesterday, very seriously.

“The ministry will make the MACC report concerning the issues as raised by the Auditor-General,” he said in a statement.

The report’s findings date back to the BN government. They include the appointment of special officers under the Minister or Deputy Minister at a cost of RM1.22 million which is unsupported in clear detail, and the spending of RM12.81 million on corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects under ministerial directive, which is not in line with the MCMC Act 1998.

“Since taking over the reins of government on May 2018, the ministry has stopped the practice of appointing special officers for the minister and deputy minister by using MCMC funds. All current special officers were appointed following approved government occupational warrants, therefore ensuring the problem will no longer continue.

“The commission has also halted the implementation of CSR programmes on behalf of the ministry, with the allocation transferred to MCMC’s operational costs,” Gobind said.

Other findings of MCMC funds being misappropriated include the Public Cellular Blocking System project, which cost up to RM215.15 million in service fees which should have been borne by the participating telecommunications company, and the channelling of some RM364.9 million in MCMC funds to third parties without an agreement.

He also touched upon the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) whose Film in Malaysia Incentive (Fimi) programme was found to have been ineffective in encouraging more local filmmakers to participate.

“The ministry has taken note of the audit findings over Fimi’s management under Finas’ purview, and administrative action is being taken by Finas to ensure the same problems do not repeat themselves in the future,” Gobind said.

These include increasing the promotion of Fimi on the domestic level as well as the international level so as to increase awareness, and to improve the programme’s application structure and rebate payment for easier facilitation.

The report stated that Fimi was satisfactory in attracting foreign film makers to shoot or produce Malaysia, but only 10 per cent of the total 50 per cent of its funds set aside for local producers were properly utilised.

Its management was also deemed ineffective due to weaknesses in key areas, including approval for payment of incentives, the process of granting approve for PCs, the verification of the applicant project’s QMPE, financial management, and monitoring.

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