KUALA LUMPUR: An audit will be carried out to find out why almost RM4mil was spent to print a flip book on palm oil, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
"On the book 'Mari Kenali Sawit' we welcome the proposal by YB Seputeh (Teresa Kok, PH) and will conduct an audit and take appropriate action," Deputy Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Siti Aminah Aching said when winding up her ministerial replies on Budget 2023 at the committee stage on Wednesday (March 15).
Kok, who was primary industries minister from 2018 to early 2020, had suggested that the ministry and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigate the actual cost of the book, which was launched in January last year.
A total of 210,060 copies of the book were printed for distribution to primary schools at a cost of RM2.79mil and 62,475 copies for secondary schools at RM1.2mil.
The average cost per book worked out to RM13.28 for the primary school version and RM19.20 for the secondary school edition.
The books were meant for distribution to 7,780 primary schools and 2,499 secondary schools, as well as 144 district offices nationwide.
Kok told a press conference earlier that she was not against the publication and distribution of books to schools to create awareness of the benefits of palm oil.
However, she questioned the cost of printing the books and said a probe should be carried out to determine the actual cost of publication and distribution.
She claimed that several printers she checked with told her that the cost of printing was about RM3 per copy.