The Prime Minister’s pride and joy, the invulnerable Khazanah Nasional was under the microscope of Auditor General as well.
Thank you to a commentator by the name Wanita Bukit Tinggi who highlighted the Auditor General’s findings on this company where Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak is also the Chairman
If Khazanah Nasional cannot even complete a shrimping project, do we honestly think they can make money in other ventures? Remember the Air Asia – MAS share swap? That apparently was the pinnacle of their intelligence.
The point is, although Khazanah Nasional was given the thumbs up by Auditor General for achieving profits every year, they gain most of their income from dividends of their shareholding in 86 companies. This business model does not need much brain power. How to increase our profit this year? Just sell Proton!
But we believe getting profits every year will be the main lullaby for the Khazanah Nasional to lull the easily impressed Prime Minister into his slumber.
But what the Prime Minister doesn’t know that there are a pile of stench under his nose which had escaped his attention but unfortunately didn’t escape the people’s notice.
Too bad because he was supposed to be the Chairman and ultimately responsible for the propriety Khazanah Nasional’s management staff.
Certain individuals in the government’s financial arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, are still allowed to use its corporate charge card despite Khazanah failing to declare its expenses from the earlier months.
As a result, unrecognised expenses on charge cards issued to Khazanah Nasional accumulated to RM1.26 million last year alone, the highest amount in four years.
This comprises unpaid balance in excess of one month at RM487,317; a sum of RM291,400 for two months and RM485,187 over a period of two to six months.
In 2009, the amount of unpaid dues was RM610,902; while in 2010 it dropped to RM270,330 and it hiked to RM726,462 in 2011.
The audit report states that based on a financial communication note dated June 1, 2006, American Express charge cards were issued to directors and the chief executive of Khazanah Nasional. As of Dec 4, 2012, there were 106 such charge cards issued by Khazanah, with no limit on the usage.
The report also says that the charge card users have been reminded to prepare an analysis of their monthly expenditures, verify the expenditures with the receipts attached and to get approval from their heads of department.
“If the expenditures are not approved, the payment will be obtained from the card holders by cutting their salaries. Failure to provide an analysis and verification for three times would result in such privileges being revoked,” the report says.
The auditor-general also found there were some Khazanah staff who failed to send or declare their monthly expenses, resulting in the unpaid RM1.26 million in card charges.
According to explanations from the Khazanah officer responsible, the balance has been settled by Khazanah despite the staff not declaring their expenses.
Khazanah further explained that it had conducted an internal audit on the expenditure claims between 2011 and 2013, and the failure by those responsible to send in their lists of expenses was also discussed.
The staff may use the corporate credit card even though they failed to declare the expenses for the month before. There is minimum risk in this, since Khazanah can cut the salary of the individual concerned to recover the expenditure.
Khazanah added that it would take action to stop the use of the corporate charge card of staff who keep failing to declare his or her expenses.
However, the auditor-general said failure to file the monthly expenses declaration was improper.
Artworks not properly kept.
The report also found that Khazanah had purchased 93 artworks worth RM6.4 million.
Of the amount, 55 works of art costing RM3.05 million that were purchased since 2005, have not been properly displayed or kept in a proper manner and there are concerns that these could be damaged.
Khazanah in its reply in May and June this year said it was planning to place the artworks at a proper room on the 32nd floor of its office block and also in its new offices overseas.
It also plans to change the location of the existing paintings and for all the artworks to be placed after renovations to the interior decoration of its office, which was approved this year.
The renovations should be completed by the end of the year.
The auditor-general also said all the Khazanah assets needed to be fully utilised to justify their purchase.
On a positive note, the auditor-general commended Khazanah for making profit for the fourth consecutive year.
The bosses in Khazanah Nasional thinks the people’s money that we pay every month as income tax are something which they just can burn in a blink of an eye. RM64 million for 93 paintings?!
That is averaging about RM69K per painting! On whose God given right was it that they can just buy expensive paintings and waste it by not keeping it properly?
If that doesn’t make your blood boil, then the fact that 106 credit cards with unlimited ceiling are issued with impunity must take the cake.
This is a disgrace. Apparently, dishonourable men with no qualms in burning money can be held in high esteem by our Prime Minister.
So what are they going to do with the credit cards and the paintings? Business as usual? Issue more bonuses to the credit card users, painting buyer and the Board of Directors of Blue Archipelago Bhd?
That was precisely what they did. After all, they achieved profitability every year.