By Hafidz Baharom
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― The Kelantan riverbank project came under fire from the Auditor General today for being both “unsatisfactory” and failing to contribute to the state government as specified in the agreement signed July 2003.
The Development and Beautification of the Kelantan River Bank Project, undertaken by a company that was not named in the Auditor-General’s report, was supposed to take 1,000 acres from the state government in return for financial and physical development valued at RM350 million.
“As at November 2011, the government has given 716.8 acres of land to the company.
“Audit works carried out from September to December 2011 found that the management of the Development and Beautification of Kelantan River Bank Project was unsatisfactory.
“The company failed to contribute to the government as stipulated in the agreement,” it said.
Among other weaknesses, the report noted the lack of a “performance guarantee” bond as well as the omissions of a detailed study and project evaluation.
“Each joint venture must be studied thoroughly by an expert and a state government agency be appointed to manage and monitor the project’s implementation,” the report said, adding that the project’s progress was not in accordance with the Implementation Schedule.
It added that the State Economic Planning Unit should take immediate action to ensure that the unnamed firm submits the performance guarantee as stipulated in the agreement.
“The (state) government must study the terms of the joint venture agreement in detail to ensure the interest of the government and the people are safeguarded,” it said.