PEMPENA Group of Companies under the Tourism Ministry has recently been under scrutiny by opposition parliamentarians over the multi million ringgit losses incurred by PEMPENA subsidiaries. Among the many findings by auditors is one that showed that out of the 24 subsidiary companies, only four have generated income. Another interesting finding is that there were one or two companies that do not exist. Isn't this findings amazing?
Tourism Minister, Azalina Othman is reported to have said that “It is so disgusting when nobody cares. How come you not care when it comes to people's money?” Don't tell me that she is going to blame everyone else except herself for this business fiasco, which is right under her care?
When talking about people's money, just a few days ago we read reports that some Barisan National MP's had in 2007 spent almost RM1 million each for 'entertainment' in their consituencies. Now, does anybody in the government really care about this exorbitant spendings by their MP's? Don't they know that there are thousands more deserving poor and hungry families that need to be cared for? And how much of that RM1 million was actually spent for 'entertainment', and how much went into the pockets of individuals and cronies? Let us not lie to ourselves, because such shady business dealings happened most of the time.
PEMPENA's dubious business dealings is just one of the many businesses run by a federal government ministry. State governments also operates businesses of their own, and not many are doing well either. The recent controversy over the business affairs of the Selangor Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) by the previous state government is one example. We also hear the same happening in Penang and Kedah. I just wonder how could state corporations not succeed in business when businesses are offered to them in a platter? Similarly, PEMPENA would have been offered government contracts but yet it failed, and how could this possibly be?
I believe the failure of PEMPENA obviously lies in those that manages the companies. We should not expect much when those appointed to managed the companies could well be cronies with vested interest, and with the 'nobody cares' attitude. The Tourism ministry should not be looking at others to blame, but will have to look at themselves for they were the ones that had appointed the people to managed the companies.
Azalina has vowed that punitive actions will be taken upon those responsible, and let us hope that this time around, it is not merely rhetorics that is so common among our honourable politicians. And please be warn too that the people, and not only the opposition parliamentarians, demands an answer.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 7.30 on Nov 25,2008