GEORGE TOWN: Penang must form a commission of inquiry into the alleged purchase of fake awards by local councils from a questionable organisation whose racket was recently exposed in a UK paper.
Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth said the news had sullied the good name and reputation of the state and that the state government owed an explanation to its people.
In a statement today, it also questioned how much was spent by the Penang government in sending local council representatives to Switzerland and Italy to collect their “bogus awards”.
“Were there any other awards that might have been purchased (by state government agencies)? What about the other overseas awards received by them before? Are they real?
“Since Penang DAP has ordered an investigation into the matter, we suggest an independent inquiry commission be formed to investigate the matter,” the statement read.
Yesterday, Guang Ming Daily reported that the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) had received “bogus awards” from the European Business Assembly (EBA).
This was after UK daily The Times claimed that EBA had been selling dubious awards to those able to fork out a hefty sum.
Penang BN Youth demanded that the state government reveal who had allowed the councils to seek awards from EBA without sufficient investigation.
“This embarrassing incident would definitely ruin the confidence of overseas investors as the state’s credibility has been affected.
“What are the damage control steps taken by the state government?”
In response to the report by the Chinese daily, Penang state executive councillor for local government Chow Kon Yeow said the state government regrets that MPSP and MBPP were recipients of awards from an allegedly dubious organisation.
He reminded the councils that the best form of recognition was the people’s satisfaction with services delivered.
“Undeniably, both MBPP and MPSP have performed well to have received various types of awards and recognition from the various federal ministries, departments and institutions, professional bodies and accreditation agencies.
“We applaud them for their achievements including the five-star rating for local authorities bestowed by the housing and local government ministry.
“We hope that the leadership at the local councils would learn a lesson from this unfortunate episode and would be more discerning and careful when nominated for such awards,” Chow said in a statement released yesterday.