A subsidiary of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute has been found by the auditor-general to be sitting on a pile of goat and cattle semen worth close to half a million ringgit. 

According to the Auditor-General's Report 2011, Marditech Corporation imported the semen from South Africa and Australia for the purpose of artificial insemination. 

From the 3,800 straws of cattle and goat semen imported between 2007 and 2011, 3,334 straws valued at RM486,100 remained unused as at Dec 31, 2011.

Another 380 Boer goat embryos valued at RM528,000 were also unused at the same date.

The audit has also found that the National Animal Embryo Centre has only produced 35 kids despite using 199 goat embryos, reaching a  “low” 17.6 percentage success rate. 

However, Marditech described the percentage as “very satisfactory” as the technology is still new in the region, pointing out that similar programmes in developed countries only reach a 20-30 percent birth rate. 

It added that the quality of the unused semen is not affected as the National Animal Embryo Centre has “sophisticated equipment and storage facilities”. 

RM156k paid, artwork not delivered

A separate audit has found that National Visual Arts Development Bhd (NVAD) had paid for RM156,000 for a 800-metre sketch, but has failed to secure the piece.

The artist had been commissioned by the Information, Culture and Communcation Ministry to produce a 1km sketch. 

In response, NVAD said it had asked the artist to surrender the sketch on June 28, 2012 and will be sure to levy a fine for incomplete work. 

The National Film Corporation Development Corporation Malaysia, meanwhile, was found to have paid RM4.87 million for 84 films from 2009, which had yet to been screened as at April 2012. 

Belated MoF approval

The Cooperatives Commission (SKM) appointed a consultant and supplier for the Retail Shop Transformation (Tukar) programme without Finance Ministry approval, the audit report reveals. 

The consultant and supplier, Felda Trading Sdn Bhd, was directly appointed without any open tender, and had benefited from a RM5.41 million grant - RM3.05 million from the government - for the project. 

sundry shop kedai runcit 250907 01According to the audit, no contract was signed between SKM and Felda Trading for the deal which involved 111 stores as at May 2012. 

The audit also found that the Felda Trading had charged an unauthorised service fee which was taken out of the RM50,000 grant given to the sundry shop owners for the programme, amounting to an estimated RM2.2 million.

However, SKM said it had obtained “special approval for a direct negotiation” from the Finance Ministry in order to award the deal to Felda Trading Sdn Bhd on July 2, 2012. The letter of award was issued in January 2012. 

It added that 22 sundry store owners have put in writing that they agreed to the service fee. 

Majuikan swimming in red

The audit report has found an Agriculture and Agri-based Industry Ministry subsidiary to be in ailing fiscal position. 

azlan“As a whole ... all of Syarikat Majuikan Sdn Bhd's activities are not profitable and investments by the subsidiaries do not reap returns,” it notes. 

“It is suggested that the ministry and Fisheries Department Authority (LKIM) study Majuikan's standing so as to not cause further liability to the government.” 

Among others, Majuikan's food processing and prawn-meal plants have ceased operations or have been taken over by the state, while a cafe started with a RM700,000 LKIM advance ended up RM1.5 million in the red after three years. 

Group accumulated losses from 2006 to 2010 stood at RM23.74 million, with losses growing from RM1.21 million in 2007 to RM17.38 million in 2010.