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Baru welcomes Sarawak corporation’s legal move against him

 | August 19, 2017

Legal action may be initiated against Sarawak PKR chief for alleging that state Housing Development Corporation paid RM2.88 million for paint jobs that were never done.

Baru-Bian-hdcPETALING JAYA: Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian has welcomed the state Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) announcement that they are likely to take legal action against him for allegedly distorting facts in the Auditor-General’s (AG) Report 2016 that has “aggravated the image of the HDC.”

“I fully welcome this novel initiative by the chairman (of HDC), as the trial will provide full opportunity for all parties to delve deeply into the facts of the matter and examine in full the details of the unsatisfactory findings of the A-G in the report,” the Ba’ Kelalan assemblyman said in a statement today.

HDC chairman Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen was quoted by Borneo Post Online today as saying that the corporation would likely take action against two opposition parties for making certain claims.

“They have quoted from the A-G report but the facts have been distorted, which has aggravated the image of the HDC and caused misunderstanding among the public,” he said yesterday.

Abang Rauf was quoted as saying he had solid evidence and facts from the actual audit report as opposed to the statements made by the parties.

He said the financing for the projects mentioned in the report came from the federal government while HDC was only in charge of opening tenders to contractors.

At a press conference on Aug 3, Baru reportedly said the HDC was found to have paid RM2.88 million to two contractors for paint jobs which were never done. He cited the A-G’s report when making the claims.

He also claimed that certain procurements were not done in accordance with the provisions of the applicable rules.

“There was an advanced payment of RM16.06 million made without authorisation for an upgrading project in Sibu, resulting in the government incurring interest charges of RM1.77 million,” he was quoted as saying by Borneo Post Online.

“Payments of RM30.40 million were made without verification by the officer, while payments amounting to RM20.77 million were unsupported by payment certificates,” he added.

“This body (HDC) is tasked with providing affordable housing for the people but it has seemingly been completely irresponsible with the state’s money and resources. Has there been misappropriation of funds or leakages?”

In his statement today, Baru said Miri MP Dr Michael Teo and state PKR Wanita deputy chief Voon Shiak Ni had made numerous site visits to flats in Miri that were supposed to have been painted and which he said were mentioned in the report.

“The flats are in a bad condition and some parts are even cracking up and chipping off,” he claimed.

“There are real problems on the ground and the chairman should direct his energy towards rectifying these and improving oversight rather than threatening the opposition with legal action.

“Interestingly, it was reported today that the MACC arrested two HDC staff in connection with the failure to carry out the painting job,” he added.

Baru also called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the items of “unsatisfactory performance” documented in the report.

MACC special task force to investigate latest A-G’s Report


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