Actually this has been going on for donkey years. Astounding price hikes when it comes to government projects is not unusual, or unknown, or unheard of. So why the ruckus only now? My guess is as good as yours, and it probably is related to the reason why you see roads in the country getting a new shiny coat of tar.

Auditor-General’s report: Same old story year in, year out

There were “no” surprises in the Auditor-General’s Report for last year — most of the irregularities noted in 2005 re-appeared.
Despite reminders by Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, earlier weaknesses made their presence felt.

This included corruption, over-spending, poor management of funds, incomplete and outdated data and lack of enforcement and manpower.

His calls for closer monitoring by all agencies went mostly unheeded.

The most obvious involved five government agencies that were paid between 42 per cent and 74 per cent more to acquire land for various projects.

Ambrin wanted to know why the Education Ministry, Housing and Local Government ministry, Johor Menteri Besar’s office and the Health Ministry paid more than the value of land to be purchased.

Meanwhile, have a read at a blogger’s take on overcharging the government. Totally fictional, though inspired by real events, written mostly in colloquial Bahasa Malaysia:

– Kisah supply “ding-dong”, bahagian I
– Gemilang Jasabakti Sdn. Bhd. (Kisah supply “ding-dong”, bahagian II)