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IT BYTES BACK! says: Not at our expense, please!

It’s the eve of Hari Raya as I write this, and things on the ‘cleaning up the government’ front has been non-stop ever since Tun M took over the premiership.

Shocking exposes (that weren’t actually that shocking) are coming into the light one-by-one across the portfolios that our new cabinet of ministers hold – ICT, human resources, healthcare.. what’s next?

And as we watch the dominoes fall, what comes to the collective minds of the IT industry observers at least, is that just a few weeks ago, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation or MDEC, had appeared in the news for possible shady dealings related to ADAX and HRDF.

HRDF’s scandal is panning out now, and more details are being uncovered. The heads that are rolling has never ever been at this scale, and its about to get bigger as more sectors and sub-sectors come under scrutiny.

As for ADAX, a lone news piece came out defending MDEC and declaring impossibility of any shadiness going on (with ADAX) and its private operational partner, ANSYS.

Specifically, this particular info was forwarded to me along with a revealing comment about the news piece’s author,

“So says the guy who awarded Digerati 50 to both CEOs of MDEC and ANSYS!”

As a backgrounder, CADS CEO is a shareholder in ANSYS and CADS is MDEC’s partner in managing ADAX.

What a fine convoluted kettle of fish! But the writing’s on the wall: This is a clear case of conflict of interest.

Long story short, there has been no follow up news about MDEC and ADAX. Perhaps, this was indirectly addressed when the Minister of Human Resources held a town hall recently that revealed many cases of power and money abuse.

Maybe some were partly appeased because MDEC’s chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan gave up his bigger role as chairman of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas). So, it’s only a matter of time before MDEC comes under scrutiny by the media again. (Update: Tan Sri Mohd Sidek hasn’t resigned yet, though many media are reporting that he is expected to, with his replacement also even already picked out).

An excerpt of a mainstream news on the healthcare sector today read as this – “The companies acted as “tendering agents” over a four-year period between 2013 and 2016, reaping contracts worth a total of RM3.7 billion.

The tendering agents, according to the document, acted for more than 70 pharmaceutical companies, all of whom used only the “same few official-owned tendering agents”.

As I read this, I couldn’t help but think how easily the same could be happening in other industries as well. How easy for this to happen when there are always greedy corrupt parties and a governing institution willing to turn a blind eye towards it.

IT BYTES BACK! says: You may resort to shady deals if there is an industry-wide ecosystem of players who are already ‘doing it anyway’. Well, the current ‘heads-on-chopping-blocks’ situation only goes to show that Karma’s a Bitch.

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