Monday, January 7, 2019

Why does a Rubber Research Institute need RM2.28 billion?

By now, we would have already read on an issue regarding the Kwasa Land where EPF have bought a 2,330 acre land at RM2.28 billion from Aset Tanah Nasional Berhad (ATNB) whom have presumably acted as a middle man after it has bought them from Rubber Research Institute for RM1.5 billion.

That transaction has become a big "hoohah" as it seems to be that RRI has sold the land at below market valuation. The issue now here is whether - ATNB, a wholly owned subsidiary of MoF - did it shortchange RRI, another wholly owned entity of the government?

Despite we have been hearing of 1MDB, Tabung Haji, I think this issue may not be that big as compared to those (unless the auditors have found mismanagement with the usage of funds from the profit made by ATNB).

I would like to make my thoughts in a different manner.

From the proceeds, what would RRI be needing a RM2.28 billion for? I think during then, even if RRI is to have sold the land for exactly RM2.28 billion, the government would have asked RRI to remit a portion of that money to government's coffer as it does not makes sense for a research institute to hold such an amount of money.

I have tried to find out about RRI. It does not even have a website and when I tried to click on RRI, it linked me to Malaysian Rubber Board. Today, rubber is a very small portion of Malaysia's economy and I do not think the research institute despite its previous contributions will need that kind of amount. Today, the biggest contribution probably from RRI is towards the rubber gloves industry, and perhaps condoms as well.

The bigger question now is that how is the ATNB's money being utilised. I think it is best for the audit be made public as we do not want every shuffling of funds be made an issue!

Frankly, I am more concerned over the low rubber and palm oil price today. Should we, as a nation be less dependent on Palm Oil and what are the efforts to be done to educate us on what to do as it seems palm oil may not come back to its good old days in the near to medium term.

1 comment:

Zuo De said...

This is excellent. Please write more.

Have always wonder what the present Government up to at times.