Home > English (General) > Missing a large hole in Sarawak kitty

Missing a large hole in Sarawak kitty

Taib Mahmud - The longest serving Chief Minister in Malaysia

by Awang Abdillah

How on earth did the Auditor-General give Sarawak‘s finances a ‘clean bill of health’ when for the past nine years billions have been chanelled to ‘phantom agencies’?

The annual Auditor-General’s Report which is supposed to be professional and independent is grossly inaccurate, especially on Sarawak.

Giving the state government a clean bill of health for nine consecutive years (until 2010) is not only inaccurate but unbelievable and disgusting.

In fact, it is simply the Audtor-General lying to the public .

For professional accountants coming up with such reports only show that the Auditor-General’s officers are either not qualified to check the financial health of a government or that they are “on the take”.

“On the take” here means the officers were rewarded to cover up bad practices and financial criminal acts committed by the head of government, which is tantamount to not only making false reports but can be construed as being an accomplice to the wrongdoing .

Of the two possibilities, I am of the opinion that the second one is the right answer.

The Auditor-General’s officers should read the reports from the on-going international investigations into the ill-gotten wealth and investments of the Chief Minister (Taib Mahmud) overseas.

They should not ignore the claims made by the opposition parties and the information from online news portal.

They must research and obtain a fair, better and accurate picture of the public accounts of the state government.

The Auditor-General should check and investigate the following gross malpractices perpetuated by the Sarawak government:

Allocation of state funds to phantom agencies

According to the DAP reports, the following are the biggest irregularities in the state budget estimates:

Year allocation of funds (in billions)

2007 – RM1.257

2008 – RM1.719

2009 – RM1.825

2010 – RM1.416

2011 –RM1.7

These huge allocations were channelled to unknown recipients.

A client without identity would make it difficult for the Auditor-General’s office to monitor or check how these funds are spent, which is understandable.

But they can still question and check from the state finance ministry the actual funds spent and given out to these phantom agencies based on these budget estimates.

And reports could be made accordingly.

Missing the large hole

How can the Auditor-General not see this annual big drilled hole in the state public accounts? This kind of criminal act is akin to bank robberies where a robber or gang of robbers would drill a big hole into the bank strong room to get the hard cash out.

Don’t tell me the investigating police officer cannot see the big hole!

The only deduction we can make is that the money, all those years, was channelled to the Chief Minister’s own private companies and later these funds were transferred overseas.

These public account malpractices are widely reported in the online media news portals which the Auditor-General cannot ignore but should check before making the final reports, which are not only improper but a scam and a crime.

For public accounting principles and rules, the most serious abuse of public funds is insider stealing/theft of public money .

The chief minister is literally stealing the public funds which should be the Auditor-General’s priority to investigate and expose.

If your investigation proves to be true, then your office should report to the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission (MACC) accordingly.

I have never heard of any government allocation of funds of such a magnitude approved by a State Legislative Assembly only to be stolen later by politicians who control the government!

This kind of unique practice is only found in Sarawak.

These funds are taken out from the development funds, which is supposed to be for development projects for the people.

Our brothers at MACC are another kind who do not bother who steals what. Looks like the Auditor-General and MACC are two birds of the same feather.

Closed-door tenders given to Taib’s family and cronies

Contracts worth hundreds of millions of ringgit are given every year to Titanium (Management), CMS (Cahaya Mata Sarawak) and Naim (Holdings) without going through the open tender system. The prices of these projects are marked up way beyond the actual prices.

Since the projects do not go through the open tender system, they themselves will do the “fix-and-approve” of the prices, according to their greed.

The Auditor-General should check the prices they quoted vis-à-vis the actual costs of these projects.

Substandard works

Not satisfied with the profits from the mark-up prices from these projects, Taib and his cronies build the projects without following the standard building/construction procedures.

That is why the road infrastructures in Sarawak are in bad shape and need repairs. Even roads in Kuching city are of substandard quality.

Substandard infrastructure then calls for maintenance jobs. Again the contracts go to the same companies.

Maintenance jobs

Maintenance works for roads and bridges again go to the chief minister and his bandits without the open tender system.

A large sum of state funds is paid out every year for such purpose. As to whether they do the job or not, the national auditor should check these out.

AG lacking integrity

It is a big shame for the office of the Auditor-General to give the Sarawak government an annual clean bill of health!

Imagine a surgeon who cuts off some of the vital organs of a patient and sells them to unknown recipients and a doctor is later sent to check out what is going on in the hospital.

The doctor returns with a report that says “the patient is in good health; his organs are fully functioning”. The truth is the patient is dying!

I suggest the opposition parties confront the Auditor-General for good when he makes his round next year.

We do not want repetitions to recur again.

It may be too late to act on the 2011 budget, but let’s act early to stop Taib from drilling a big hole again in our 2012 budget .

He may drill now but lets make sure we close the hole latest by early 2012!

Source: FMT

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