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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

‘GTP star rating not valid’

A 'Grade A' rating for the Government Transformation Programme by Transparency International co-founder is not legitimate because he no longer represents the group, says its Malaysian chapter.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government Transformation Programme’s (GTP) supposed “Grade A” rating by Transparency International is not legitimate, its Malaysian chapter says.

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president Paul Low Seng Kuan said that Michael Hershman, who gave the rating, was no longer working for the organisation.

Hershman allegedly gave the GTP rating as the TI co-founder.

Low said that Hershman was actually a government adviser. He, however, did not elaborate on Hershman’s exact capacity.

“He (Hershman) is not representing TI. He is giving a Grade A rating according to his own expertise.”

“We (TI-M) are not in a position to give a Grade A to the GTP,” Low told reporters today.

(Hershman is currently president and chief executive officer of the Fairfax Group, a private risk management firm.)

Low said that Hershman may have given his approval of the GTP based on the initiatives undertaken by the government.

According to a report by English-language daily, The Star, Hershman said that the government had made “tremendous progress” over its GTP.

He also appeared to gush over the government’s efforts to stamp out corruption, with added praise for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

But Low said that the TI co-founder may have given his approval based on the “process of initiative” in the government’s fight against corruption.

Low also said that the government was being contradictory, especially when it came to project tenders.

“On and off, we get mixed messages. Some projects are open, and some are not.”

“The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is not open. Suddenly, we hear the highway is not open,” he said.

Low stressed that the government needed to live up to its promise of open tenders.

“We cannot send mixed messages… open to some projects and not open to others.”

“When we implement it (open tender), we need to be consistent over it,” he said. - FMT

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