Nice Camp but no trainees

Posted on 3 January 2012 - 05:23am
Last updated on 3 January 2012 - 09:52amMarhalim Abas

PETALING JAYA (Jan 3, 2012): Selangor's scandal-plagued state education foundation, Yayasan Selangor, has landed itself in financial quagmire again.

The foundation, which was embroiled in a controversy following revelations of lavish spending by officials, recently spent some RM4.04 million to renovate its Ampang Pecah national service camp, only to find out it had not been granted the contract to conduct the National Service programme there this year.

A National Service Training Department official confirmed to theSun yesterday that no national service trainees were sent to the camp on Sunday.

Some 140,000 trainees are involved in the 9/2012 series being carried out at 82 camps throughout the country.

The official, who declined to be identified said Yayasan Selangor was not given an extension to the contract. He also declined to say why the contract worth RM4million per annum, was not renewed.

The Ampang Pecah camp was the site of the launch of NS programme back in 2004, by the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. It was also the site of the launching NS 1Malaysia Alumni gathering on Nov 7.

It is learnt that Yayasan Selangor deputy general manager Raja Amir Shah Raja Aziz has sent a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak appealing for the extension of the contract.

When contacted yesterday, Yayasan Selangor general manager Ilham Marzuki confirmed that an appeal letter had been sent.

"My deputy made the appeal as I am on leave. As far as I know we have not been given the extension of the contract, nor the reason for not extending it," said Ilham, adding that the foundation would have to find other uses for the camp to recover its investment in the renovations.

In the appeal letter, Raja Amir Shah said RM4.04 million was spent on the camp's perimeter fencing, new generator set, upgrading of buildings and the construction of a pool for water activities.

He also claimed that a number of people employed by the camp would have to be laid off if the contract was not renewed.

Raja Amir Shah said the foundation is a non-profit organisation which uses its excess revenue to provide scholarships and loans to poor students.

Last March, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim disclosed that an audit revealed that financial mismanagement had caused Yayasan Selangor to chalk up a RM7.41 million deficit from January till November 2010.

The Sultan of Selangor had also snubbed the foundation's 40th anniversary luncheon in November 2010, over its exorbitant cost.

"Unplanned spending caused Yayasan Selangor to experience a deficit of RM7.41 million till November 2010," said Khalid after the audit was carried out by the internal audit division of the Selangor State Secretary's office from Nov 29 till Dec 1, 2010.

Khalid also announced that the foundation had, based on the audit's recommendation, terminated the services of its deputy general manager Mohd Saifulruddin Sulaiman on Feb 18, 2011.