10 June 2015


Time to charge public officials for negligence

Kuala Lumpur, 10 June 2015 – On June 1 2015, a Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (Public Service Department, or JPA) scholarship recipient who is studying in Poland wrote to a local paper complaining about the price of his one way ticket to Malaysia that he received from the JPA office. The price, according to him, is thrice more expensive than the normal price. He had raised the matter to the JPA office, but no action was taken. 

​Commenting on the letter, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO of IDEAS said, “​paying above market prices seems to be the norm in our government procurement practices. The Auditor General’s Reports in the past have highlighted a number of purchases that are way beyond the normal market price: RM 3,810 for a wall clock and RM 14,670 for a scanner. And yet, when it comes to selling assets like land that the government sold to 1MDB, prices are way below market price.”

“I urge the Auditor General to look into the procurement of ticket prices for JPA scholars in his next audit cycle. And I really hope that if the report comes out, the cases are not treated as negligence per se. There should be serious investigation on whether corruption is involved. Questions should be asked are: Why are such purchases approved by the head of department? Were sufficient quotes obtained, and was the lowest price submitted?”

“Cases like this should also prompt the government to be serious about regulating public misconduct.”

“I hope to see the government charging public officials with negligence. If done seriously, cases like this as well as the presently growing crisis of 1MDB would be less likely to take place in the future.”

Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Chief Executive, IDEAS

Link to the letter:



IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion. Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit


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Wan Saiful Wan Jan

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