Corruption is the mother of all evils. It is like cancer, once taken roots, it is very difficult to get rid off. It will only get worse unless something drastic is being done.
One of the best indicators of the level of corruption in civil service is the Annual Auditor General’s report. I wrote an article in October last year, “That time of the year again” and the points are still as valid today. You can read that article here.
I will also paraphrase the first few paragraphs here:
It is that time of the year again.
No, I am not referring to the ‘durian’ season, nor to the festivities like Deepavali, Hari Raya or Mid Autumn Festival.
I am referring to the time when lay men like you and me feel angry and frustrated towards certain ‘wrongs”, but are powerless to do anything.
Every year, since time immemorial, it has evoked the same feeling; but every year, we just sigh , comment with our ‘coffee kakis’ in ‘Kopitiams’ and shake our heads . People like me with a computer will probably write something to let off steam; the more important people, like those elected YBs from the other side of the divide, will probably pose some embarrassing questions in the Dewan.
The end results will be the same; life carries on and nothing changes. We will all forget about and talk on other issues until the time of the year is here again.
I refer to the week in the year when the Annual Auditor General’s report is released.
This year, one of the most shocking things revealed is that school children are given substandard food to eat, as reported in malaysiakini article :“Sandwich kosong” for school kids, sardince missing”. I will post part of that article here too:
This is what the Auditor-General found being supplied under the Additional Food Programme (RMT) designed for schoolchildren by the government.
In its report for the year of 2009, the Auditor-General found that SK Jeroco in Lahad Datu, which was supposed to provide the pupils sardine sandwiches with slices of cucumber, tomato and lettuce, gave them only margarine sandwiches.
Apart from the SK Jeroco, food suppliers in five different primary schools around Malaysia, who were checked out, were caught supplying food way below the quality of the recommended menu for the RMT programme.
“After the feedback from the dietician in the Health Ministry’s nutrition department, we found that food from the menu provided can cause the schoolchildren to suffer from malnutrition,” the Auditor-General’s Report noted.
Six other outsourced school food suppliers have also been caught providing food completely different from the recommended menu in the RMT programme, often food that was of lower value.
To cheat on kids is the most heinous crime . I do not know how these people can do such things; don’t they have any conscience at all?
It is either the suppliers have to give a big kickback to the officials awarding the contracts for supplying food to schools, or the suppliers themselves trying to give sub quality food and pocketing the money. I think in the context of our country, the probability is high that the kickback is big, and the suppliers have no choice but to reduce the quality in oder to still make money, like our Car Project.
This has already become a culture. Officials sitting in big government offices think only of how to start projects , not for the well beings of the people, but more for utilising government funds and get kickback when awarding contracts for such projects. The projects are not for the people anymore. IT is for their own pockets.
With corruption at such levels, even to the extent of supplying “sandwich kosong” and “bihun kosong’ to children, what is the authority doing? Will it be like previous years, after the hoohaa, everything will be back to normal again? The rats that used to eat in dark places and hidden corners now are eating blatantly right on top of the table.. They eat all the sardines and leave behind the roti kosong.. Where are all the cats?