Friday, January 17, 2014

Donald Duck and his Uncle Scrooge

I refer to the article by my senior in the blogosphere: Another Brick in The Wall - No Intention to Cut Wasteful Consultancy Fee

I am a big fan of this blog and others such as Rockybru, BigDog, Apanama2020, and not forgetting Syed Akbar Ali's Outsyed The Box. Since my university and college days slightly less than 10 years ago.

I really like the creative writing, the juicy stories especially. But this was another one on PEMANDU and the Government that went wrong.

The extract from ABITW:

For one, PEMANDU had went beyond their term of reference as highlighted by Goh when Dato Idris was assigned to solve the kalimah Allah issue with East Malaysian. There is more on that issue but let's leave it at that. Secondly, PEMANDU are doing work beyond their area of expertise and term of reference. No need to elaborate further. TST ... tahu sama tahu. Lastly, even how Goh tried to explain, PEMANDU is an "outside consultant" incorporated into the government structure. Using Goh's Opex figures, it is still an additional RM139.3 million of wasteful spending on consultancy when there are EPU and other existing Ministries and agencies already in place and with in-house expertise in their areas of specialisation. PEMANDU are being paid exorbitant salaries and yet money is spend on consultants and Government insist in keeping the allegedly bloated civil service. Goh claimed the RM139.3 million include consulting fee but in a The Sun report, Idris revealed that the budget for PEMANDU was RM729 million. "Kementeriaan Idris Jala" has a budget allocation of RM12 billion.

Let's talk about this Kementerian Idris Jala first and their multi billion budget. I hope it is not the Uncle Scrooge effect after a cartoon night with the kids. Billions here, billions there. I dare say Idris Jala is no Uncle Scrooge.

Anyway, straight to the point. Idris Jala likes to talk about his 8 Steps to Transformation but I will claim full rights on this new theory called the 8 Steps to Information. If Idris Jala copies me, please let me know. I will see him in Court.

Step 1: Double click on your preferred browser icon - eg Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox

Step 2: Go to

Step 3: In the menu bar, move your mouse cursor to the word Bajet.

Step 4: In the drop down menu list, click Maklumat Bajet Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Step 5: Click on the Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan link (eg Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2010)

Step 6: Once the PDF file has been download, hit the keys Control + F

Step 7: Type the  keywords "Unit Pelaksanaan dan Pengurusan Prestasi" or keyword "PEMANDU"

Step 8: Press enter again to go to next search result on keywords "Unit Pelaksanaan dan Pengurusan Prestasi" or keyword "PEMANDU"

Just to save your time, I did the dirty job for you guys. See below:

Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2014
Butiran 330000 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 40000
RM39.2 juta

Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2013
Butiran 330000 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 40000
RM40 juta

Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2012
Butiran 330000 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 10000-40000
RM40 juta

Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2011
Butiran 310000 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 10000-30000
RM20.672 juta

Butiran 320800 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 10000
RM0.8978 juta

Butiran 331800 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 20000
RM18.4302 juta

Anggaran Perbelanjaan Persekutuan 2010
Butiran 290700 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 40000
RM18.71 juta

Butiran 300900 - Unit Pengurusan Prestasi dan Pelaksanaan (PEMANDU)
Kod (objek am) 40000
RM40.6 juta

Now, that is PEMANDU's budget. I don't want to repeat and repeat again on what are the detailed line items of PEMANDU's opex. Please read my older blog posts.

What about the billions quoted in The Sun Daily? That was in 2010 - Idris Jala sheds light on PEMANDU. But please read the text lah .....

Out of the total budget of RM729 million, RM334 million is parked under Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) because this expenditure covers initiatives that cut across various ministries and agencies. For example, RM265 million is for financial support for the hardcore poor of about 22,000 households under the NKRA for Low Income Households for the entire 12 months in 2011. None of this money is paid to consultants as alleged. In terms of process, this money will be paid as financial support directly to hardcore poor families, only after taking into account the full impact of the efforts by the participating ministries e.g. implementation of Azam Tani by Ministry of Agriculture, implementation of Azam Kerja by Ministry of Human Resource, etc. Release of money must be done for each hardcore poor family based on the e-kasih report by the Internal Coordination Unit (ICU) and verification by the Ministry of Welfare and Pemandu. Actual distribution of this financial support is made via Pos Malaysia. Due to the complex process and the many parties involved, it makes sense to centralise these budgets under JPM to ensure effective coordination and delivery of benefits to the hardcore families. It must be stated clearly that final decisions for spending the money is done collectively by the NKRA Steering Committee, which includes all involved parties, and this is chaired by the deputy prime minister.

It is true. This started during the time when Datuk Noriyah Ahmad was the Director General of EPU. If I am not mistaken, this was because GTP and ETP initiatives were newborns and budget requirements were concluded too close to the new Budget announcements. The Government including EPU agreed to park the budget under Jabatan Perdana Menteri. There was no time to waste on which Ministry should lead other Ministries in initiatives that cut across multiple Ministries and agencies. There was definitely no time for politics between Ministers or senior Government officers especially in the infancy stage.

Just to sidetrack a little, I had the privilege to be in meetings which Datuk Noriyah Ahmad chaired. I must say she is a very capable, humble and easily approachable lady. I know many Director Generals whose officers will scramble to prepare talking points for their bosses but in the meetings I had with Datuk Noriyah, she walked in with just her Blackberry and a file. I have never seen her holding any prepared text or talking points. She was able to capture the points discussed, identify issues, critically evaluate proposals and presentations easily. The same cannot be said for all Director Generals in other Federal and State agencies, to be honest.

As we progressed further on from the year 2009, more and more of the Budget items are wired directly from EPU/Treasury/Akauntan Negara Malaysia straight to the implementing agencies (some at State level). The responsibilities to monitor and the mechanism to implement and deliver results as well as to decide on the finances were clearer. These were tracked closely by members of the Steering Committees of the respective NKEA and NKRA. The quantum of disbursement were strictly based on cash flow requirements and more importantly KPI achievements monthly.

The money was definitely not in Uncle Scrooge's Idris Jala's room.

Let's not forget that the hundreds of millions or billions of Ringgit were allocated for targeted segments of the population such as the low income households and farm families. A majority of them are in Sabah, Sarawak and the rural areas of Peninsular Malaysia. (I DON'T NEED TO STATE THE REASONS, RIGHT?)

There were many projects under the financial code of NKEA and NKRA. But these are merely labels for the projects that were brainstormed and agreed by the Cabinet, EPU, Treasury, all Ministries and agencies in the lab. For example, the replanting and new planting of oil palm. In 2010 - 2013, based on discussions with the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, the Godfathers - EPU and Treasury - and Step Son PEMANDU agreed to provide slightly less than RM1.0 billion. Never has this Government provided so much grants for the smallholders in Sabah, Sarawak and rural areas of Peninsular Malaysia in such a short time frame. Should I go on to rubber? Other food agriculture projects?

Maybe I should highlight a press statement by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal in April 2012. He said that under the NKRA Rural Basic Infrastructure project in 2011, a total of 1,013km of rural roads were completed, creating a positive spin-off to 425,377 people; the 73,227 of rural houses connected to clean water supply which touched 366,135 lives; the 27,004 rural houses supplied with electricity, brightening the lives of 135,020; and the 14,365 houses for rural poor that were built and restored, positively impacting 71,825 people.

Again, these projects are registered in Treasury and EPU under NKEA and NKRA codes. Now what are the sins, the damages or the wasteful expenditures of PEMANDU projects in these cases or all of them if you like?

I know a lot more juicy stories on how these budget benefited the rakyat especially before the year 2013 but I can't list them here. Nanti dia marah:

Of course, I can see the cannons are also out and aiming at PEMANDU on salaries. "PEMANDU are being paid exorbitant salaries". I am tired of explaining and talking about this already. I do urge all of you who want to "get rich fast" to apply to PEMANDU. Please send your CV to PEMANDU.

Just to set your expectations, here are two image files - PEMANDU recruitment ad (if I am not mistaken a year or two ago but definitely available if you Google the keywords "recruitment pemandu analyst").

In addition to the "big pay package", this job in PEMANDU also comes with the following benefits:
  • performance review every 6 months (ie perform or get out)
  • a 2 + 1 years contract (ie you may lose your job at the end of every 2 years if not renewed due to budget, performance reasons)
  • work on weekends and public holidays
  • carry your laptop and phone wherever you go to (even when you are on annual leave / family holiday)
  • criticisms from Government leaders and staff who do not like KPIs and prefer a free hand
  • hugs and punches from bloggers, politicians all the time
That is all I have to say. If you would like juicy stories to write, get the cangkul and start digging up dirt in the backyard of the Ministries and agencies that have been very quiet in the past 5 - 10 years.

So, gentlemen, when are we having nasi kandar in Pelita?

By the way, Datuk Seri Najib .... or if your team is reading this, I sent you a tweet but you didn't reply.

Can I watch Newcastle vs Man Utd with you Sir on 5 Apr 2014 if you are free? PM dulu tengok bola sebelum PRU 13 tak ajak saya.

Looking forward to this Sir. But if you don't have much time that day, let's have roti canai together. Eat out la yeah, maybe in PJ? I can drive. Surely Seri Perdana's roti canai won't taste as good.

*Note: I am serious about fetching the PM to go out to have roti canai together one day.

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