PETALING JAYA: The officers involved in the procurement of the 93 faulty ventilators, as revealed in the Auditor-General’s Report, have given their explanation, says health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.
Zaliha said she had already been briefed on the matter, which had resulted in the loss of RM13.07 million for the government.
“I have been briefed on the matter. We took note of this, together with other things that were done during the (Covid-19) emergency.
“We will see where we can improve,” she was quoted by Bernama as saying to reporters after launching the Wellness Hub at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru.
Three days ago, the Auditor-General’s Report 2021 Series 2 revealed that only 28 of the 136 ventilators procured by Pharmaniaga Logistics for the health ministry from 2020 to 2022 could be used.
The government could not claim the RM13 million spent on the defective equipment as no agreement was signed with Pharmaniaga because the procurement was done under “emergency procurement protocols”.
The revelation led to calls from Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii for the government to take action against those responsible for the purchase of defective ventilators.
He said the negligence of those involved in the procurement had not only wasted public funds but compromised the quality of healthcare.
White paper not to find faults of previous government
Separately, Zaliha said the white paper on the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines was not to find fault with the previous administration but rather to improve the process in future deals.
She made the statement when asked about the latest status of the white paper and when it would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.
“We understand that the procurement was done during an emergency, but there may be things we may need to look at again,” she said.
Zaliha said the white paper was still in the process of being completed and would be presented to the Cabinet first before being tabled in Parliament.
On Feb 8, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was reported as saying that the health ministry would present a white paper on the procurement of vaccines and other related costs, which were alleged to be “partially non-compliant” and signed by the relevant minister without the approval of the attorney-general.