Teresa Slams Rubber Board Chairman’s RM100M Plant

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While tappers are dealing with falling commodity prices, the Malaysian Rubber Board is spending RM100 million on a rubber technology plant in Jerantut.

History is repeating itself after the new Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) chairman Ahmad Nazlan Idris decided to build another “white elephant” in his constituency, said Teresa Kok.

“The previous MRB chairman and former Jasin MP Ahmad Hamzah did the same by ordering an unnecessary RM44 million project in his constituency in 2010,” said the former primary industries minister in a statement today.

The Jasin project remains an unsalvageable white elephant and MRB is still paying millions for the incomplete project.

“There are similar bad examples of unwarranted projects sanctioned by the previous Barisan Nasional-appointed boards years ago, under the guise of model rubber technology and processing schemes, such as Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia mini-stations (Rriminis) and integrated-processing complex (IPC) a few years ago in Kota Tinggi Johor, which cost RM130 million.

“Till date, they are still bleeding and leaking public funds and the biggest of the white elephant, the IPC in Kota Tinggi is still fraught with endless construction delays.

“These are clearly unnecessary and wasteful projects. They are still swallowing up public funds as the construction is not completed,” said the Seputeh MP.

It was reported on Saturday that MRB would be building a RM100 million rubber technology plant in Jerantut.

MRB chairman Nazlan, who is also the Jerantut Umno chief, announced the project.

“Nazlan was only appointed as MRB chairman about a month ago but appears to have worked at warp speed to obtain the necessarily approvals to spend RM100 million of public funds for a mega-project in his parliamentary constituency,” she said.

But Kok slammed the decision as untimely as MRB did not conduct any cost-benefit analysis at a time when the covid-19 pandemic is putting the economy under tremendous strain.

“Despite the economy moving into deep crisis and heading into recession, Nazlan appears to have Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s ear approving a non-essential multi-million-ringgit project in his parliamentary constituency, when clearly the Perikatan Nasional government’s priorities should be elsewhere.

“As such, I strongly urge Muhyiddin to explain if he is aware about this mammoth RTC project which is to be built in the parliamentary constituency of the MRB chairman he endorsed.”

As the former primary industries minister, Kok said the new Jerantut project is under PN.

“I ordered an immediate moratorium during my time when I was briefed by the previous board of the colossal mismanagement of funds and assets of the MRB by the previous BN government-appointed board.” – TMI