October 23, 2012
For the Best Job in the World@Royal Malaysian Customs
by R. Nadeswaran@http://www.thesundaily.my
The Director General
Royal Customs and Excise Department
I wish to apply for the best job in the world which incidentally is in your department. Judging from what has been reported, you can do anything you like, spend government money as much as you want and not be answerable to anyone.
For more than 20 years, I have had the honour of “processing” news stories from the voluminous reports by the Auditor-General. Year after year, I would read the report and then write about the non-adherence to established accounting principles and the misuse of power and taxpayers’ money. As usual, the perpetrators of such activities are never pulled up or penalised and in some cases, elevated to higher positions.
This year is an exception. After so many years of reporting and commenting, I decided not to touch the report but could not avoid being informed on this issue because it would mean not reading the newspapers or watching the news on television, which, of course, is required of me in my present position.
- A customs officer went on a shopping spree and chalked up a bill of RM1.82 million on equipment his department did not need in 2007.
- The officer had placed a verbal order on six types of gadgets and equipment, some of which exceeded the quantity needed, without following government procurement procedures.
- He quit giving 24 hours notice on February 26, 2008.
- No action was taken against him.
- A report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was only done last week AFTER the A-G’s report was tabled in Parliament.
Since he quit, I believe that vacant slot has not been filled and I verily believe I have the qualifications, experience and knowledge to take his place. I also want to raise plenty of money for charitable causes because your department’s procedures will allow me to do it.
What I want to do is to order 500 units of GPS Navman navigation system at a cost of RM6,174 each. I also want to order 100 siren bars, at the cost of RM11,819 each as well as an additional 1,000 Hella search lights at RM1,292 each. On top of that, I will buy 1,000 beacon lights at RM1,311 each, 2,500 rechargeable torchlights at RM1,217 each and 1,000 Garmin walkie-talkies at RM5,259 each.
That’s not very much compared to the billions that the department collects. It just amounts to less than RM15 million – RM14,942,000 to be exact. I will place the order with my own selected suppliers. I would negotiate a deal with them. They would hike up the price by 100% and no one will know because there are no proper checks and balances in the system.
So, I will ask the sum of RM14.9 million be made out in 14 cheques – RM1 million each payable in the name of orphanages, hospices, homes for the aged and other charitable organisations. The balance of RM900,000 be spent on buying sports equipment for rural schools. I won’t wait for a year to quit in a huff. I would tender my resignation in accordance with the Government Orders and leave after a month.
After this, I would demand that the goods be sent to the Customs Department and that the invoice be submitted to the Finance Department, which would duly pay the bill.
Why am I that confident that the monies will be paid? The department is obliged because I used the Local Order. You may claim that it was an “unauthorised purchase” which is true, but because you have set a precedent by paying for goods ordered by my predecessor, you can also settle this bill.
Going by past practices, I am confident that you will cover for me and protect me from any departmental or external inquiries. (You did so for my predecessor for five long years.)
You should also persuade the Treasury to pay the RM29 million bill and pray and hope that the payment is not detected when the officers from the auditor general drop by. (If not for these officers, no one would have known about the rogue officer’s order in 2007 and the matter would have been hushed up.)
And if the A-G does highlight it in his report, you’ll just have to make a formal complaint to the MACC to put on record that you did take some action. That would be five years later, perhaps in 2017 by which time, I would have disappeared.
But even if I am traced and prosecuted, I can expect justice to be tempered with mercy (as in the case of the national bowler who was convicted of statutory rape) because I have done service to the nation. Besides, I would not have financially benefited as all money went to charity.
In the eyes of the public, I will not be put in the same position as my predecessor. I would be looked at like Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving it to the needy.
I hope my application will be given due consideration.
Saya yang (akan) menurut perintah