For immediate release
7 April 2015
There should be consequences for missing target
Kuala Lumpur, 7 April 2015 – The Auditor General’s Report was tabled again in parliament yesterday. Some of the activities audited received good and satisfactory remarks despite some weaknesses and discrepancies. Among the weaknesses and discrepancies mentioned are a payment of RM103.14 million by RTM to TM before the contract was signed and a six years delay in a project under the Program Perumahan Rakyat in Sabah.
Like the previous report, the 2014 Auditor General’s Report mentions delays in contract signing, negligence, improper payments, and unreasonable delays in project delivery as among the causes for those problems.
Commenting on the release of the report, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO of IDEAS, says, “The report shows that the government has not been serious in its intention to be more fiscally disciplined. At the end of last month, the government tabled a supplementary bill for 2014 Budget. Supplementary budgets have become a regular feature of this administration. It shows incompetence on the side of our two finance ministers, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak and Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadzlah. Both Najib and Husni missed their own targets every year and if they were working elsewhere, they would probably have been sacked by now. Either that, or they do not understand how to show respect to the parliamentary processes of tabling national budgets. Their behaviour implies that the annual tabling of budgets is a waste of time because they never take it seriously anyway.”
On 23 March 2015, the government tabled the Second Supplementary Supply Bill 2014. The bill was tabled to seek parliament’s approval of a total of RM 2.22 billion in additional funds for the year 2014. In June last year, the government also tabled supplementary budget at RM4.11 billion. The total requested supplementary budget for 2014 is therefore RM6.33 billion, which makes the total budget for 2014 RM 270.5 billion.
He also adds that “announcements of deficit target and budget cuts are merely empty talk because every year we see wastage and inefficiencies reported in the Auditor General’s Report and the request for supplementary budgets tabled again in parliament. The National Audit Department and the Parliamentary Account Committee should be credited for doing their job in making sure taxpayers get value for their money. I hope their good work and suggestions do not fall on deaf ears.”
The Parliamentary Account Committee’s move to call for the suspension of ST15 rice subsidy programme due to the absence of standard operating procedure and transparent distribution system should be applauded. This call should prompt the responsible ministries and agencies to rectify the problem swiftly and to review the need and the procedures for the programme regularly.
In addition, the supplementary bill was tabled when attention was focused on the 1MDB crisis and the arrests of many individuals under the Sedition Act. Therefore, unlike previous supplementary bills, this was not well covered by the media and did not receive the public attention it ought to have.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan
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 http://ideas.org.my/
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