Ex-NS exco man a director in 'unqualified' seeds supplier

  • Now, Putrajaya denies giving RM100 million grant to bank-rejected firm

    Putrajaya today denied that it had awarded NSE Resources Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NSERC) a RM100 million grant, as claimed by a PKR leader. Malaysiakini reported that Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohd Diah today revealed the list of grant recipients by his ministry. The list, which has more than... …

  • Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit
    Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit

    Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president to visit Malaysia for nearly 50 years, seeking to put decades of uneasy relations behind him as both cast wary eyes on a rising China. Obama – who visits Saturday-Monday – is expected to tout the US's friendship with the economically thriving moderate Muslim nation. As one of... …

  • Malaysian jailed 8 weeks for Singapore border dash

    A Malaysian motorist who tried to dodge Singapore's border control has been jailed for eight weeks after a judge rejected his pleas that he was lost and overheating in his car, officials said today. Koh Chin Had, a 42-year-old poultry seller, tailgated another car passing through a raised barrier on April 13, triggering a security lockdown on... …

  • KL school not allowed as Karpal memorial venue

    The Education Department has rejected the use of a school in Kuala Lumpur for a memorial service for Karpal Singh as it is perceived as a political event, said its organisers DAP in a press conference today. The memorial service was scheduled to be held tomorrow night at SJK(C) Chung Kwo near Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur, said acting DAP chairperson Tan Kok Wai. …

  • Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit
    Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit

    Student group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) is against US President Barack Obama's (pic) scheduled visit to Universiti Malaya on Sunday where he is expected to host a town hall session with young leaders from Southeast Asia. In a statement, the student group said that this was because Obama had disappointed many quarters, including... …

  • Cops to act on May 1 rally if 'public order threatened'

    The police would act against the May 1 anti-GST rally if it is found to be threatening public order, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department (CID) deputy chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said today. Khairi ( at podium ) said so when pressed by reporters on whether the cops were planning to make any pre-emptive arrests ahead of the rally, in order to prevent the rally from going on as planned. …

A former Negri Sembilan state executive councillor, Mohamad Rais Zainuddin, is a director of a company awarded the largest government quota to supply padi seeds to the farmers despite allegations that the company failed to meet tender criteria.

According to information obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), the former Chembong assemblyperson was in June 2011 appointed one of Kilang Beras Seri Merbok Sdn Bhd's four directors.

Rais had openly criticised Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan when dropped as a candidate for the 2008 general election.

The other three directors of Kilang Beras Seri Merbok are Abu Samah Hashim, Pek Ling Lin and Mohd Yusmizar Ismail, with the shareholderss being Mohd Yusmizar Ismail, Pek Eng Hoay, Pek Woei Fong and Abu Samah.

The company is one of the 10 padi seeds suppliers granted  contracts worth RM164.8 million by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry to supply padi seeds to farmers for two years from 2013.

Kilang Beras Seri Merbok topped the list with an annual quota of 22,000 tonnes, followed by Haji Md Nor bin Haji Abd Rahmah (M) Sdn Bhd (HMN), which bagged the quota for the supply of 20,000 tonnes a year. The quotas for the other eight suppliers are all less than 10,000 tonnes.

PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar in Parliament last week revealed a leaked letter , purportedly sent by the Finance Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry.

The letter laments that tenders allocated for the supply of padi seeds under an Agriculture Ministry programme were awarded to suppliers who had failed to meet the tender criteria.

These ‘unqualified' suppliers are ,however not named, in the Finance Ministry's letter.

HMN has conceded that it won the tender despite not fulfilling one of the tender criteria, while a spokesperson for Seri Merbok refused to comment when contacted, preferring to leave the issue to the Agriculture Ministry.

Annual profit up to RM12 million

An industry player, a non-bidder in the latest tender, told Malaysiakini that after the government raised the subsidy for padi seeds from RM500 to RM1,035 per tonne in 2009, the profit of padi seeds suppliers jumped to about RM600 per tonne.

"If the supplier is given annual quota of 20,000 tonnes, its profit alone will be about RM12 million annually," revealed the businessman who requested anonymity, saying he has business ties with the government.

According to him, the programme, initiated during the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi administration when the Agriculture Ministry was helmed now deputy prime ministerMuhyiddin Yassin, was to control the quality of padi seeds and ensure that farmers could buy the seeds at an affordable price.

Under the programme, the suppliers purchase padi from the farmers at RM1,400 per tonne, process them into seeds for planting and sell them back to the farmers, at the same price.

In return, for every tonne of padi seeds they supply, the suppliers are entitled to a subsidy RM1,035, a sum that was pushed up from RM500 a tonne when Noh Omar took over as agriculture minister.

The process of padi seeds production is monitored and inspected by the Agriculture Department to ensure quality.

The businessman disclosed that there were 17 companies vying for the contract but established bidders, including Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) and a company under the Muda Agricultural Development Authority (Mada), failed to make the cut.

"How could big companies like Bernas be rejected?" asked the bewildered businessman.

Biggest winners

Instead Mada has rented its processing plant to HMN, and the company confirmed to Malaysiakini that this breached a tender criterion that requires bidders to have their own padi seed plants.

The Finance Ministry's letter pointed out that a number of qualified bidders were rejected for reasons that were not stated in the tender criteria.

The businessman also questioned whether the annual quota of 20,000 tonnes of padi seeds was 'tailored' for both HMN and Seri Merbok, since all the other bidders were only given quotas below 10,000 tonnes.

Seri Merbok bagged two separate quotas, one for 20,000 tonnes and the other for 2,000 tonnes, making its total quota 22,000 tonnes - the highest among all suppliers.

"This is too much. Both of them have taken up more than half (52.5 percent) of the total annual quota of 80,000 tonnes.

"Why didn't the ministry distribute the quota more evenly to other qualified suppliers so everyone can have a fair share?" he asked.

This issue was first raised by Mahfuz ( right ) back in 2010 when he urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate contracts awarded by the Agriculture Ministry to padi seed suppliers without the necessary facilities, such as HMN.

At that time, Mahfuz questioned the reason for awarding 16,000 tonnes of the supply quota to HMN while a major organisation such as Mada, which is capable of producing at least 15,000 tonnes, was only awarded 5,000 tonnes.

According to the Pokok Sena MP, Noh had then brushed off the allegation.

Noh defends awards

Yesterday, Noh Omar said that the supply of padi seeds through open tender this year was to ensure that only companies meeting the criteria were awarded the tender.

"However, it is surprising that when we introduced the open tender, which is more transparent, there were more protests," he told reporters after a 2013 budget seminar of the ministry at Putrajaya.

Previously, the tender for supply of padi seeds was carried out through direct negotiation and farmers complained of having received low quality seeds and the companies were found to have appointed third parties to supply the seeds, he said.

Under the open tender system, he said the tender was advertised in the newspapers and each application was evaluated by three committees of the ministry.

"Each application should fulfil the criteria of a padi seed supplier and have the approvals of the Finance Committee and Technical Committee before being shortlisted by the Procurement Board Master Committee," added Noh.


'Unqualified' seeds suppliers win RM165mil tender

Padi seeds supplier: Criteria not met, but...

Padi seeds tender: Was Finance Ministry duped?

Ex-NS exco a director in 'unqualified' seeds supplier

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • MB: Only 29 days of water left in Selangor Malaysiakini

    Although heavy rain led to flash floods in parts of the Klang Valley yesterday, the Selangor government has said that taps will run completely dry in 29 days if rationing is not continued. "For now, we must continue with rationing as the level at the main dam, the Sungai Selangor dam, is below the critical level and can only last 29 days if rationing is not conducted," Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement.   "We really hope the rakyat understands this situation and supports …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …