Builders, staff of scandal-hit Perak movie animation park paid twice, says audit chief

Perak Corporation Berhad audit committee chairman Chong Zhemin speaks to reporters regarding the latest MAPS scandal in Ipoh. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak Corporation Berhad audit committee chairman Chong Zhemin speaks to reporters regarding the latest MAPS scandal in Ipoh. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, April 12 — Audit reports into the scandal-tainted Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) show double payments to the company’s employees and the subcontractors hired for its construction.

Even more shocking, a special internal audit report showed that the accounting figures in the supporting documents did not tally, Perak Corporation Berhad audit committee chairman Chong Zhemin said today.

“This is absolutely insane and dumbfounding. No sane person would sanction this kind of payment,” he told a press conference at MAPS here.

According to Chong, Animation Theme Park Sdn Bhd (ATP) and PCB Development Berhad (PCBD) paid a total RM29.22 million in salaries to Sanderson Design Group (M) Sdn Bhd (SDGM) even after the management paid the full RM324.39 million to the same company hired to construct MAPS.

He said former Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) chairman Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir should be responsible and provide a satisfactory answer to the public, as the latter had direct control over Perak Corporation Berhad (PCB).

“Zambry should enlighten us on this matter as paying salaries to SDGM employees and subcontractors is abusing ATP and PCBD funds to double-pay for the construction of MAPS,” said Chong who is also Keranji assemblyman.

PCB is a PKNP subsidiary and owns PCBD, which holds a 51 per cent share in ATP. The remaining 49 per cent share belongs to RSG MAPS Sdn Bhd.

Chong also said that the audit report also revealed that ATP had paid RM22 million to SDGM even though a certification of works for a ride called “Lake Coaster” showed a payment of only RM20.3 million.

“Why the additional amount of RM1.78 million paid to the contractor?” he asked.

He said it was “ridiculous” to pay the hefty amount for an attraction that, till today, has not been installed.

He added that the ride equipment has since been abandoned and that installation now would cost between RM3 million and RM4 million.

“We have a potential buyer who offered RM11.48 million for the Lake Coaster, but even if the deal goes through, ATP would realise a loss of RM10.52 million,” he said.

Chong also pointed out that another attraction called the “Selfie Boardwalk” that had cost RM285,000 was shut down for safety reasons within a year of its operation by the previous management.

“The attraction was opened in July 2017 and closed on June 2018. And it is closed until today. This is utterly a waste of money,” he said.

Yesterday, an officer from the Perak Mentri Besar’s Office lodged a report at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission against a theme park in the city after its construction cost doubled.

The theme park was not named but is understood to refer to MAPS.

Malay Mail previously reported that the cost of constructing and developing MAPS went from RM390 million to RM607 million.

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