Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rent-Seeking a-la-NEM?

Najib and Pemandu must come clean with the “1Malaysia Email Project” details by revealing all terms and conditions of the concession awarded to Tricubes Berhad, and stop digging a deeper hole for themselves with flip-flopping answers

It is almost comical the way our Prime Minister, Datuk Najib Abdul Razak and Pemandu officials are heaping layers of misleading and contradictory statements in an attempt to cover up the “1Malaysia email project” fiasco.

First, Pemandu had to take the trouble to edit the description of the project from a “government initiative” to a “private sector initiative”, despite the fact that Tricubes Bhd has announced on Bursa Malaysia that it was awarded the email project by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu).

Then, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had to assure Malaysians via Twitter that the much-criticised project would not be funded by the government and nor made compulsory.

However, in a radio interview with BFM yesterday, business services NKEA communications content and infrastructure director Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek disclosed that government agencies will pay Tricubes Bhd to use the company’s 1Malaysia e-mail database.

Fadhlullah Suhaimi said he expected agencies to pay Tricubes about 50 sen per e-mail, “cheaper than the RM1.00 printing, stationery, postage and dispatch cost of sending a regular letter.”

This disclosure comes as a complete shock to Malaysians because the Prime Minister has assured us that the Government will not be paying a sen for the project! And yet, it is now obvious that the “1Malaysia email project” is a scheme designed to fleece tax-payers monies with a service that is completely unnecessary.

The fact of the matter is the creation of an "official email" account is absolutely unnecessary in "official" dealings with the Government. At this point of time, even Maybank and Citibank are able to send my monthly bank and credit card account statements to my Yahoo or Gmail accounts. I also have no problems receiving my monthly mobile phone bills from Digi Telecommunications. The signing up of a "1Malaysia" account is not only a hassle, it is clearly a barrier created specifically for certain parties to profit.

While Dr Fadhlullah tried hard to justify the project by claiming that Government agencies will only pay 50 sen for each email sent via the 1Malaysia email account as opposed to RM1 for cost of printing and postage, he failed to explain why 50 sen should even be paid when banks and telecommunication companies pay absolutely nothing to send us our bills and statements today without having to set up "special" email accounts!

Clearly the design and nature of the "1Malaysia email project" is to create an artificial need for a concession to provide rent-seeking opportunities for companies which may find it difficult to provide real value-added services in a competitive environment.

Given that the Prime Minister and Pemandu officials have been tripping over each other to provide flip-flopping explanations which repeatedly contradict each other, Pemandu must to the right thing and disclose in full the contract awarded to Tricubes Berhad so that the public can know the full truth.

The failure of Pemandu to do so will only make a mockery of its own Government Transformation Programme (GTP) which calls for the elimination of rent-seeking while increasing transparency and accountability. Pemandu should protect its reputation by calling a spade a spade, and call for the withdrawal of the project which has without a doubt, become an international embarrassment for the Najib administration.


Anonymous said...

The bigger issue really is why is Fadhullah a Director of Pemandu in the first place?? His analysis is so COMPLETELY WRONG in the most basic and layman way! A bigger question is how Pemandu is run and purpose in the first place? Its a another tool for Najib's HOT AIR otherwise known as 1Malaysia and GTP, like APCO is.

Why are we the taxpayer paying for Najib's HOT AIR?


OMG! Does that mean that in future all govt letters and notices can only be delivered through this 1Malaysia email and I am forced to open an account in order to receive the notices/letters.
And I got to use their services (and get charged) for paying the govt bills and what not?
ALL sound minded citizens should voice out strongly!

Anonymous said...

The more information they give, the more it sounds bad. NRID 'to verify IC'. NRID has no business verifying my IC for a private entity without my permission or police.

These guys at Tricubes are as ignorant about basic laws as they come. Its amazing they even get to put their proposal up...

Anonymous said...

YB, what do you expect from stupid and clueless PM and that Jala who is actually incompetent!

SetiaSelalu said...

The millions of taxpayers money should be spent on improving health facilities for example the many poor and downtrodden homeless people in KL and other cities.
What a big waste of our money when we can get email account for free.
Who is benefitting from this ?

Anonymous said...

It looks like this was no pioneering idea even for neo-crony NEM model.

How many of these neo-crony internet business are there?

Anonymous said...

Just read that Tricubes got its RM5M from MavCap. What the f***? 1.VC funds are seed money for startups not listed companies; 2.MavCap is govt owned, so who's money is it?? HELP!!!

Anonymous said...

Mampu or Ampu ?

I think this project needs amputation.

Uncle lim

Anonymous said...

These guys got access to Mavcap and Pemandu with something I can hire a top coder to do for US$200K.

There is NO GOOD idea in this. All of the features have been thought off before by many many good people who have already thought of the downside..

These guys sounds, look and feel like bad car salesmen then they are tech entreprenuers or even professional managers.

Anonymous said...

The excuses just get worst.

1. Mavcap put money in some ambiguous mobile solution that the company appear have no faith it and divert it to 1Msia email.

2. Tricube committed fraud and embezlement?

Mavcap officer need to be fired at the very least and Tricube officer have to jail.