Saturday, December 11, 2021

EPF can also avoid making stupid decisions and mistakes

Do political big guns still clinch govt contracts for companies?
 Subahan may have just done that for his

KL, Dec 11: While we’re on the subject of dealing with stupidity, (Refer 5G: How the Govt can avoid making stupid decisions and stupid mistakes), we may want to add to our watchlist the RM1 billion deal to build affordable homes in Selangor which involves the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). 

Why? Because EPF is you and me and every Malaysian who has been working like a dog to get the economy going and it is our business to make sure we don’t end up with the short end of the stick. Read EPF may not get the best from Kwasa Land affordable housing deal. 

The report said there are industry insiders who suspect that the bidding process for the mega project was not more than a window dressing. Meaning to say that the winner - Gagasan Nadi Cergas - may have already been decided even before the tender was called.

“The way it was done, if at all, suggests that the other bidders stood no chance,” said a person familiar with the process, who insisted that Kwasa may have not abided by the tender process required of subsidiaries of public institutions.

These are suggestions that the EPF out to address. The onus is on the Fund to reassure investors that the tender or selection process was transparent and above board. Guarantee that our investment in this project - EPF’s first foray into building affordable homes - will bring us maximum possible returns. We sorely  need it, especially after what we have gone through during the pandemic. (Remember, 32 per cent of EPF contributors have less than RM5k in their accounts, says Tengku Zafrul). 

As I see it, the trust issue resulted in the fact that little known Gagasan Nadi Cergas has Subahan Kamal, a big gun in Selangor (and national) political scene, on its team. It’s not a crime to put politicians on a company board, of course, but it is not encouraged. Ask the Securities Commission why: Don’t appoint politicians to company boards, says Security Commission.

The EPF and its subsidiary Kwasa Land are sitting on properties that are potentially valued at billions of ringgit, money that could make us the long-suffering EPF contributors smile in our dreams, at least. They need to conduct business professionally. Keep the politicians at bay.

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