RM620 million public fund losses in these times of crisis call for the urgent setup of the Ombudsman, MIPO provision

PRESS STATEMENT

OCTOBER 30, 2021

Once again, the non-compliance in financial management among federal ministries and
departments has caused the Malaysian public a total of RM620.07 million in losses and
wastage in 2020, as reported yesterday.

This latest figure brings such disgrace to the nation as we are yet out of the woods from
the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and the country could use every single sen to
rebuild the economy and improve its wellbeing.

The Auditor-General Report (LKAN) on the federal government’s financial statements
and the Federal Ministries and Departments Compliance Audit for the year ending Dec
31, 2020, stated that the over RM600 million of losses comprised RM510.49 million of
irregular payments, RM104.79 in (unknown) losses, and RM4.79 million wastage
(involving equipment that was received late and not installed at Istana Budaya).

Leakages and wastage through government projects, especially stemming from the
procurement sector, have become some sort of a common feature that is draining the
country off of its resources.

Worse still, is when the people’s projects that should have been allocated with the
adequate sum of taxpayers’ money, eventually get reported back with overpriced
purchases, extravagant spending, wastage, cost overruns, delays of completion of
projects and low quality deliverables.

The problem of millions of RM getting unaccounted (for) through the government
system keeps happening and is worsening every year.

It is disconcerting that, instead of focusing on such grave concerns, MPs in Parliament
are rather more riled up when discussing “TIMAH”, an unknown Whiskey name, and
trying to complicate the situation further by alluding its intended meaning to the ‘name of
a Malay woman’(!). How more shallow can this be?

In light of the losses revealed by the AG, the Center to Combat Corruption and
Cronyism (C4 Center), reiterates its call for the government to:

  1. Fast track the creation of the Independent Ombudsman Office to address
    maladministration, enhance integrity and governance in public complaints
    matters. Although PM Ismail Sabri had made an announcement that it would be
    tabled next year, C4 urges for this to be fast-tracked.
  2. Include the Misconduct in Public Office (MIPO) as a new provision under the
    MACC Act 2009 to outline deliberate behaviours that cause leakage and loss of
    government funds deliberately as a criminal offence.
  3. Strengthen the Auditor General’s powers to check government contracts without
    the consent of the Minister of Finance as per the Audit Act 1957 so that the AG
    can investigate or confront suspicious transactions
  4. Publish decisions on the awarding of contracts, along with the justifications for
    selection and rejection, improve in-progress monitoring, and to mandate assets
    declarations by public procurement officials,

    We are still in the midst of fighting a raging pandemic which has pushed the country into
    a deep recession in the past two years and still trying our best to recover.

    Such a substantial amount of money, of over RM620 million, lost through such
    ignominious means could have been used to alleviate the Malaysian peoples’ financial
    burdens and reduce ballooning government debts.

    Any intention to deny our people of their rights should be regarded as an offence under
    the law, and those found to be abusing their positions in public office should be hauled
    up before the law and punished for their abhorrent crimes.

    𝐄𝐍𝐃

    𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲:

    𝐂𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐚𝐭 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 & 𝐂𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐲𝐢𝐬𝐦 (𝐂𝟒 𝐂𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫)

    𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐧𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝟎𝟏𝟐-𝟑𝟕𝟗 𝟐𝟏𝟖𝟗 / 𝟎𝟑-𝟕𝟔𝟔𝟎 𝟓𝟏𝟒𝟎

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