BUKIT LANJAN: RM52 million down the drain? Heads must roll!

Crops for the Future Research Centre
Crops For the Future (CFF) was established in 2009 following the merger of the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC) in Sri Lanka and the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilised Species (GFU) in Italy. Since its inception, CFF has established partnerships with organisations around the world to improve food and nutrition security, health and incomes of the poor, and the sustainable management of fragile ecosystems. Crops For the Future Research Centre (CFFRC) was established in 2011 to provide research support for the global Crops For the Future organisation. CFFRC is a company limited by guarantee and without share capital. Its guarantors are the Government of Malaysia and the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. In 2014, Crops For the Future and CFFRC combined their resources to form a single global entity - Crops For the Future (CFF). CFF now combines its research and development functions on underutilised crops (CFF Research) with FutureCrop, an educational resource for underutilised crops and agricultural biodiversity. Both CFF Research and FutureCrop will increasingly offer consultancy services to interested parties … for more, go to http://www.nottingham.edu.my/CFFRC/index.aspx

BUKIT LANJAN: RM52 million down the drain? Heads must roll!

This really cannot continue for Malaysia. Year in and year out, the annual Auditor-General (A-G)’s Report would reveal tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit in public money gone to waste.

Malaysia really cannot afford any more such “grandiose” wastage of public funds. Those irresponsible decision-makers must be taken to task.

“If the federal government continues to ‘not take action’, as usual, and choose to maintain ‘business as usual’, Malaysia will most certainly not progress,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the two-year-old RM52 million Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC) White Elephant, as highlighted by the A-G, must not be taken lightly.

“It shows inefficiency and incompetency continues to dog the federal government administration. Over the years, as highlighted by the A-G, hundreds of millions, if not billions, have gone down the drain, caused by incompetent decision-makers and directors.

“How long more can this go on or tolerated until the federal government starts weeding out the incompetents?” he asked.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “There appears to be little action taken by the federal government on the boo boos highlighted by the A-G’s annual reports.

“Why waste money on the reports by not taking any action, remedial measures, to punish those responsible and recover whatever possible? Might as well close the A-G’s office and save costs!” he added.

This is the A-G’s report on the CFFRC as posted by online news portal The Malaysian Insight (TMI):

"2 years, RM52 million later, crop centre can’t be used

The Malaysian Insight
Updated one day ago · Published on 27 Nov 2017 5:40PM 

The Crops for the Future Research Centre is underutilised even though an overall RM119 million had been earmarked for the project. – Massa.com.my pic, November 27, 2017.
THE main building of an agricultural research centre that cost more than RM52 million still cannot be fully used even after the project has been completed more than two years ago.

Dome 3, which is the main building of the Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC), is underutilised even though its construction cost went over its ceiling price of RM4.77 million, said the 2016 auditor-general series 2 report released today.

The CFFRC, which was completed in Semenyih, Selangor in October 2015, has also failed to meet its 2015 key performance indicator (KPI) for producing research that could be commercialised, the AG said.

Dome 3 cannot be used as it lacks all the necessary laboratory equipment and its defects are still being repaired although the building’s warranty period has expired.

The department said this in the series 2 of its 2016 report that detailed the activities of selected government ministries, departments and statutory bodies.

“CFFRC had the noble aim of becoming a research centre for underutilised crops and for taking advantage of national food sources,” said the AG of the project developed by the then Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry.

“However, the overall implementation of the CFFRC is unsatisfactory,” said the AG.

An overall RM119 million had been earmarked for the project of which RM52 million was for the construction and laboratory equipment, while RM63 million was for administrative costs over seven years.

Among other the flaws in the project are:

* that it only managed to get RM5.2 million in research grants in 2015, or 26% short of its RM20 million target.

* inappropriate bonus and service payments to consultants totalling RM770,000.

* RM10.18 million in expenses that were not approved by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and that were outside the scope of the contract for the Field Research Centre.

* an extra RM690,000 had to be spent to ensure the facility met the platinum green building index (GBI) rating after initially failing to meet the standard. – November 27, 2017.



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