GEORGE TOWN, July 26 ― The Penang government must state if it had paid for the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) awards that both local councils have received, Umno said today.
Penang Umno leader Datuk Muhammad Farid Saad demanded that the state government immediately explain the EBA awards the Penang Island City Council and Seberang Perai Municipal Council received in 2013 and 2014, in light of the recent revelation that the EBA is offering fake awards for money.
“It was shocking when Guang Ming Daily today published a front page news revealing the Europe Business Assembly awards can be bought for a sum of money,” he said in a statement issued today.
The then Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail had received the Best Municipal Manager award while MPPP received the Best Municipality Award from EBA in 2013.
Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) had received the Best Holiday Destination, Best Cities and Top Medical / Travel / Hospitality Web-site awards from EBA in 2014.
Muhammad Farid also pointed out recent reports in international news, The Times had claimed the EBA is an organisation set up by Ukrainian businessmen to sell millions of pounds worth of fake awards and honours.
The news report claimed that the EBA had advertised itself as an Oxford institution when it is not affiliated or linked to the University of Oxford.
“Have the state spent ratepayers' money to get these bogus awards?” Muhammad Farid asked.
He said it is surprising that two local councils in the same state in Malaysia won awards from the same organisation two years in a row.
“It is disappointing and an embarrassment to all of Penang if it is true that MPPP and MPsP had paid EBA to get those awards in 2013 and 2014. They are no different from those who bought fake degrees sold by online universities,” he said.