THE Al Hijrah Media Corporation (TVAH) that received RM333.4 million from the Prime Minister’s Department to broadcast the Al Hijrah television channel has been recording losses before tax for three years in a row, the 2016 Auditor General’s Report found.

The report on federal government companies and agencies, in its second series, revealed that the company had received the funding from the Prime Minister’s Department from 2010 to RM2016 for its operation and management expenditures.

But the media company’s financial performance has been found to be unsatisfactory, following the audit period from October last year to February and May this year.

TVAH recorded pre-tax losses of RM19.65 million in 2014, RM17.03 million (2015) and RM10.88 million (2016).

The company also recorded accumulated losses of RM11.56 last year, although it still maintained assets at RM15.94 million.

“The objective of the company to become a broadcaster that educates, entertains and unites the ummah lacked effectiveness due to the low ratings. Revenue from airtime is also far from achieving the company’s target.

“Sponsorship performance is also unsatisfactory because the number of sponsored programmes is still low,” the report said.

TVAH was set up in September 2009 and operates from the Islamic Centre in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia’s first and non-profit free Islamic television station. The government-owned TV station airs 18 hours daily on analog, Astro and the internet.

Among the other issues highlighted in the AG’s Report were TVAH taking an average 107 days to 256 days to collect advertising money owed to it, and its administrative and financial management practices falling short of the company’s best practices and financial and acquisition procedures.

The report said the company had a weak programme assessment process that caused the assessment for new programme acquisitions to be inconsistent, programmes aired to be uninteresting and lacking in quality, acquired programmes to be unaired and wastage.

“There were no policies or procedures for activities related to the sale of airtime and asset management, while the procedures for programme acquisitions is incomplete.

“The KPI (key performance index) for last year was not presented to the company board. There are also no independent directors in the company’s board with a broadcasting background,” the report said.

The report also said TVAH failed to conduct internal audits for the whole of 2016 and until April this year because the internal audit unit was scrapped in January last year until it was set up again in April this year.

TVAH, the report said, needed to be more aggressive in improving its viewer ratings and airtime sales revenue to reduce its dependency on government funds.

The AG’s Report also recommended TVAH have a detailed SOP (standard operating procedures) for new programme acquisitions, company activities and meeting KPI targets; to better manage its collection of debts and internal control; and to improve its administrative practices, namely monitoring by the board of directors.