There is a lot of publicity generated in the media about the tens of thousands of poor Malaysians who were given hand-outs recently by the Malaysian government out of the generosity of the taxpayers' funds.
Never mind that the poor folks had to travel for miles and wait for hours before some VIP came to ensure they made the newspapers headlines.
But did you know there is another special assistance scheme that has not been given any publicity?
Apparently there is one company that received a grant for RM976mil in 2007. Using some simple maths, it is about RM195mil per year and that is significantly more than RM500; don't you think?
You can read the story in malaysiakini here.
The gist of the story is simple: The government grants the company RM976mil in order to complete the tolled highway and now the company has decided to sell the project for RM1.7bil and the takeover is going to be financed by borrowing RM1.2bil.
Some shady financial happenings going on here. First of all, surely the grant to execute the project must have some undertakings or was it another generous gesture like the RM500 to the poor?
Common sense will dictate that the government's interest in the project must still be protected and surely the original owner cannot cash in the RM976mil by selling the project outright. Also why would any bank want to grant a loan to a company that actually "owes" the government RM976mil and why does the government allow the grant to be encashed so readily? It is a good example of financial manipulation and a major burden to taxpayers...in other words, the Finance Ministry is abetting a financial crime!
It is commendable for the PKR and the DAP MPs to highlight the kind of highway robbery that the government is indulging in.
So don't feel so grateful about that RM500 award....we are being robbed blind elsewhere!