Audit reveals RM272.9mil failed Customs project, PAC wants MACC to investigate

KUALA LUMPUR: Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate payments of RM272.9mil by the Customs Department for a failed project.

"The MACC should be more aggressive and view the issues raised in the Auditor-General's Report seriously.

"The PAC urges the MACC to immediately investigate all the issues which have been categorised as punitive under the report," PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh told reporters at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 28).

The call comes after the Auditor-General's (AG) Report 2019 (Series II) - which was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday - revealed that the payments were for the department's uCustoms online system, which is currently non-functioning.

Wong said the PAC will meet to discuss the findings of the AGs report next month to begin proceedings to haul up the appropriate departments for inquiry.

He added that this included the Finance Ministry and Customs Department with regard to the uCustoms project.

Wong said that any investigation by the MACC into the project would not jeopardise the PAC inquiry into the issue later this year.

The uCustoms system was to have been a fully integrated online system to handle goods clearances.

Meanwhile, Auditor-General Datuk Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, who was also present at the press conference, said the uCustoms project was proposed in October 2013 at an original cost of RM317.7mil.

"However, five extensions of time were given for the project since 2013 with the original cost ballooning to RM397.43mil.

"The audit found that RM272.9mil in payments were made for the project," he added.

Besides the uCustoms project, Nik Azman also said the audit found weaknesses in the project to supply raw water from Pahang to Selangor and the government integrated telecommunications system.

He said the three projects had resulted in wastage of some RM285mil.

He also drew attention to leakages amounting to RM29mil under the International Trade and Industry Ministry's car import permits handled by the Customs Department.

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