12 December 2014
The new audit panel on the second Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2) is “not independent” and a “waste of resources”, parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.
Nur Jazlan also said there appears to be a “double standard” when the Auditor-General was not called in by Putrajaya to probe the klia2 project — for which costs hit RM4 billion from the RM1.7 billion initial estimate.
He indicated that the new klia2 audit panel unveiled by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai yesterday was a “waste of resources”, as it would replicate the work that the PAC had already done.
Nur Jazlan also claimed the five-man panel was composed of individuals linked to the klia2 project, noting that the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abd Rahman was involved in the project’s approval.
“And the panel is not independent. It’s made out of people who are connected to the project,” he said.
“There’s no more of an independent panel than the PAC and we have done our hearings and we found inconsistencies. Now we want the A-G Department to investigate, that’s all. And the government is not doing what we want, but it’s up to the government,” the Pulai MP told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
The PAC report tabled on November 26 had already pressed for the Auditor-General to carry out an audit of the klia2 project — including its planning, design and construction — and its operator Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
“The PAC can just recommend, it’s up to the government to act upon the PAC report and I think it’s unfair that government departments are subjected to the A-G’s department and are found to be wrong on less significant issues and [issues with less financial impact],” Nur Jazlan said, highlighting that the klia2 was a big project that could have been carried out better.
“There seems to be a double standard in how you treat government departments and how you treat GLCs,” he said, referring to government-linked companies.
Last month, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said he had to seek government approval to audit klia2 operator Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) on the delayed completion of the airport at a higher final price tag.
Ambrin had said that MAHB is a public-listed company that was subject to the Securities Commission’s scrutiny in terms of corporate governance, while its accounts are already audited by the biggest private accounting firms in the country.
Today, Nur Jazlan pointed out that MAHB was still a government-owned company, saying the status would not be changed even if it was a public-listed firm, adding: “Public interest is there”.
MAHB’s main shareholder is state-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Yesterday, MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the company will study PAC’s report and is preparing a response to the parliamentary committee.
But Nur Jazlan questioned the difference that this response would make, saying that the company had already met the PAC twice to provide their explanations, which the committee had found to be unsatisfactory.
He then reiterated that the PAC wants an “independent investigation” through ground visits by the A-G department to verify the committee’s findings, instead of the audit panel set up by Putrajaya.
Original Source: www.themalaymailonline.com
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