Friday, April 25, 2008

One year has passed

It has been a year since Dungun-born Manchester United fan Datuk Zolkples Embong (picture) was appointed to the hotseat as the chief of the National Sports Council.

But I wonder whether he was in any mood to celebrate upon reading Terence Fernandez's very down to earth piece in the Sun today.


Someone must answer for funds fiasco
Terence Fernandez

POOR Datuk Zolkples Embong! After being a loyal servant of his ex-boss, the National Sports Council (NSC) director-general now finds himself discarded and left to fend for himself over the extravagance of the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation Malaysia (WSFFM).

Former youth and sports minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has distanced herself from the million-ringgit fiasco that is WSFFM’s National Women’s Games by saying that she does not get involved with the foundation’s management and funding.

The present tourism minister was reported as saying on Wednesday that as the mere patron of the foundation, she “just cut ribbons”.

“I don’t get involved with management and I don’t have a say in funding,” she was reported as saying in a local daily.

So, if she had no say in the funding, then who did?

The accounts of the WSFFM clearly show that it received a grant of RM9.72 million from the NSC and another RM1.5 million from the ministry – good money, people’s money that was squandered on staging the games where aerial dancers were brought in from Australia to the tune of RM800,000 for the opening ceremony.

So, if Azalina had no say in handing out taxpayers’ money to the foundation, who decided on who got what and how much; and who signed the cheques?

The only other person who could have approved the RM9.72 million grant would have been Zolkples .

Now that his ex-boss has sent him into the lion’s den with her declaration, Zolkples will have to account for the money that the NSC generously gave away to an outfit whose role and benefits are suspect, while the NSC’s own sports development fund is almost dry.

Zolkples must answer why almost RM10 million was handed to the WSFFM on a silver platter, while the NSC cuts its allocation for other sports associations.

However, Azalina still has to account for the RM1.5 million which was doled out by her own office, unless of course in the true spirit of sports and fitness, she would rather tai-chi the responsibility to the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Mohd Yasin Mohd Salleh, who was already made to answer for the ministry’s exorbitant expenditures as indicated in the Auditor-General’s Report.

However, I can foresee the defences of these two officials – “saya yang menurut perintah”!

Which is why, instead of getting her minions to attack my colleague Citizen Nades on the web, it would be better for Azalina to not just cut ribbons but also the bull over how she managed taxpayers’ money that had been entrusted to her the last four years.

She must come clean with the money she had spent – including the need to relocate and refurbish her new office in Putrajaya while her successor at the Youth and Sports Ministry Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob has embarked on an austerity drive.

This former Public Accounts Committee member probably had no choice as he inherited a ministry with dwindling coffers.

At a time when some of our former Olympians and national athletes cannot even afford medical treatment, the ministry and its affiliates, including the NSC, must resolve to stop this sinful waste of funds and channel the money for what it is meant for – sports development and the welfare of our athletes, both past and present.

Yes, Zolkples and Yasin must account for the privileged treatment of the WSFFM, which has come within the radar of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA). But Azalina should not be allowed to wash her hands off this issue. She cannot feign ignorance. Being the then minister, the buck stopped with her.


Anonymous said...

i pity dato' Zol's not really his fault. he has to listen to azalina. but he should have register his objection on this matter and i guess it's not too late for him to tell all. i wonder why he didn't expose azalina now. so, according to ACA, she's innocent...RIGHT!!..and i'm the next PM!! what a load of crap la..she should be held SOLELY responsible for this fiasco. she's the reason why msn is broke...she's the reason why athletes cannot get medical treatment, MRI..etc...she's the reason why athletes are not able to get their supplements,'s all her fault..
so azalina, stop passing the buck!
return the money that you have stolen!!!!
dato zul...where's your balls?? time to spill the beans..why r u keeping quiet??

Arnaz said...

Haiyo, haiyo, haiyo, haiyo, haiyo yo yo yo yo yo........

Anonymous said...

I think another person that should talk is msn's finance head rashid. he's the one who issue all the cheques..he should know what's going on..
how come he's not saying anything? if he cares for the malaysian sports, he should come forward and provide all the info to aca...or to citizen nades..

Arnaz said...

For your information, if I'm not mistaken, the person in-charge of finance matters in the ministry was deputy sec-gen Mohid Mohamed. Another funny, shifty character, whom I've had the opportunity to watch while in action. I would cherish the chance to meet him face-to-face and get answers to some interesting questions that have been bugging me for over a year. So far, he's been hiding behind Datuk Nik Mahmud and the rest of his bosses...

Anonymous said...

I know dato'Zul personally. He is a man of principal.Bukan hendak angkat bakul.
I have attented meeting together with the minister. This is the truth. We table all the expenditure for the year. Minister is the one who will lulus.At one time all sports equipment was supposed to be purchased from the ministers brothers company.A good example is that they send in low quality of goods for Atheletics under the 8 core sports.
KBS suppose to send the money .
Now money MIA. Programes all taken off. Victim the 8 core sports and many development programes. Termination of officers because cannot pay them.
To accuse Dato'Zul is too much beacuse he coudn't do anything because the minister was a tyrant. She simply tells of people.
No man works like Dato Zul . He is the best for this job.
Keep it up Dato. God is great. He knows what you have done for the development of sports. Sinners will have to pay. God will be with you. May god bless you for the sincere work you are doing.
Your faithful servant.

Anonymous said...

well written but still we-the ordinary people need to know what happen to nsc coffer... is it nsc - gate - scandal in the making

Anonymous said...

Your faithful servant,
I agree with you that Dato zol is a good man. He's not to be blamed for this fiasco, but he needs to speak up! not keep quiet..what is he afraid off??
The info you have should be pass on to the ACA.

Anonymous said...

She can get out from any ACA investigation.Sudah pun.(Mr.Citizen failed in that)Just tell me how many ministers have been caught by ACA?
Our law is that, if you curi juta-juta dipenjarakan 1 tahun but try shop lifting RM 3 ringgit didenda 3 tahun penjara dan sebat 3 rotan.
Mana ada keadilan? I rakyat biasa tidak ada power. Kalau terlalu power masuk Kamunting. Any way thanks for the advice.
Your faithful servant.