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PBS Maximus to be implicated in Rafizi latest expose of RM1.2 billion grant scandal?

PETALING JAYA, April 15 ― PKR’s Rafizi Ramli claimed today that he is ready to expose wrongdoings which led to government grants worth RM1.15 billion being abused to enrich yet-to-be-named  individuals linked to the government.

Rafizi, the MP for Pandan, said he will expose the wrongdoings in a series of press conferences over the coming days, adding that it is potentially bigger than the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre scandal which rocked the establishment a few years ago.

The grants made to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for research and development had not produced enough results, Rafizi said, citing MOSTI minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin's recent revelation that his ministry's efforts had managed to commercialise just 20 products.

“His statement gives the impression that despite spending RM1 billion in five years, only 20 end product of the RnD was sucessfully commercialised.

“This is a very low figure. This poses a question ― how were the funds used? Were they really used to commercialise the research and development or for other purposes?” Rafizi told a press conference at the party's headquarters here.

The grants were given out between 2009 and 2013 to three different funds: the STI (ScienceFund, TechnoFund, Innofund, Human Capital Development Fund) which received RM900 million, the CRDF fund (Commercialisation of RnD fund) which took RM246 million, while RM6 million was given to the Technology Acquisition Fund, according to Rafizi.

“In this two weeks, I will expose the abuse of the funds and how taxpayers money are used for other reasons apart from RnD,” he said.

Rafizi added that he will demonstrate how the system was abused to allow select individuals easy access to the millions in grant money.

Research grants are fixed expenditure in the federal budget aimed at boosting investment and innovation.

Rafizi noted that the grant system does not require private companies to repay the money, which makes it susceptible to abuse if not checked.

"The exposes will open the people's eyes on how grants worth billions of ringgit are given with no transparency at a time when the people are facing hardship cause by subsidy cuts".

The Pandan MP also said Malaysia has only managed to attract low cost R&D foreign investments while high-tech RnDs money are flowing into countries like neighbouring Singapore.

He said this reflected Putrajaya's failed R&D policy.

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