A whopping RM 12.59 billion for “Kementerian Idris Jala” in 2011-2012?

A costly “new ministry” emerges from Budget 2011. Let’s for the moment call it “KIJa” or Kementerian Idris Jala which runs the various activities around Datuk Seri Idris Jala who is Minister in Prime Minister and also the CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU).

The total cost of KIJa is approximately RM 6.19 billion for 2011 with an additional RM 6.4 billion for 2012. Of the amount, RM 11.86 billion are allocated for National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) projects over a two-year period of 2011-2012 under development budget while another RM 729.4 million for 2011 comes under operating budget, which has mostly been channelled to international consulting firms.

While PEMANDU has two drivers, namely Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and Datuk Seri Idris Jala himself, it is well known that the latter is firmly in the driver’s seat, with the help of numerous consulting firms.

KIJa or Idris’ outfits are responsible for the preparation of Government Transformation Plan (GTP), the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) and various other Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for ministers, ministries and federal government agencies. The ETP has allegedly usurped the role of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), which was tasked to prepare the New Economic Model.

Costing almost RM214 billion (the Prime Minister’s figure of RM212 billion is questionable), Budget 2011 is the most expensive budget ever in Malaysia’s history. The previous record was set in 2009 when the total amount was RM209 billion.

At RM 15.86 billion, the allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department is also record-setting. The previous record was set in 2010 at RM 12 billion.

The various transformational programmes organised by Datuk Seri Idris Jala failed to curb the continuous rise in government expenditure. Rather, KIJa or Idris’ various outfits are themselves now big spenders, as shown in Budget 2011:-

· Officially, PEMANDU is given an allocation of RM 20, 67 million in 2011 (Item 310000, Pg 134).

· An additional item of RM 897,800 under “Dasar Baru” or new policy is given to PEMANDU (Item 320800, pg 135)

· There is also a “one-off payment” of RM18.43 million for PEMANDU (Item 331800, pg 136 ) and I suspect substantial amount under the label of “emolumen kakitangan kontrak” or emolument for contractual worker (Item 332000, pg 136) from the Prime Minister’s Department amounting RM136.87 million is utilised by KIJa or Idris’ outfits.

· National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) are indeed a group of costly alphabets. NKRA for crime fighting was allocated RM9.1 million, education, RM 22 million, and 1Malaysia, RM 38.42 million. (Items 331300, 331100 and 331200, pg 136).

· In addition to that, the delivery task force of NKRA for Low Income Household costs RM 265 million (Item 332200, pg 135). If only cash grant of RM1000 are distributed, 265,000 low income families would have been aided. Clearly, it is a move that is set to benefit the consultants.

· Meanwhile, the operation cost of NKEA is even costlier than NKRA, receiving a shocking amount of RM355.9 million! (Item 332100, pg 136)

· Under the development budget, NKEA will be allocated a total of RM 11.86 billion in 2011-2012 (Item 94000, pg 139), in which the estimate for 2011 is RM5.4 billion – more than 10 percent of the entire development budget for 2011.

So what do all these numbers mean? All I can say is that “KIJa” is indeed a very costly affair. It’s time for the KPI minister to disclose his own KPI score card to the people of Malaysia.

Liew Chin Tong

The Edge

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