State’s financial statements ‘clean’ for 15 consecutive years

SARAWAK achieved 15 consecutive years of ‘clean’ financial statements, said Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.

During his winding up speech yesterday, he informed the august House that the state was accorded a clean certificate – “an unqualified report for its financial accounts for the year ended Dec 31, 2016”.

“With this, the state has earned 15 consecutive years of clean records for its financial statements. We have also achieved improvement on the Accountability Index (AI) for 2016.

“For the year, out of a total of 27 agencies audited, 13 agencies were rated with five stars and eight agencies with four stars by the Auditor General (AG) Malaysia.

“In addition, the state’s commendable investment credit ratings have also been reaffirmed at A3 and A- by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, respectively,” he said.

Wong said such an achievement is clear testimony and a reflection of the state’s sound financial management with financial prudence and discipline at all levels.

He added that there is always room for improvement and called on all heads of departments and agencies to take affirmative action and measures to further strengthen the state’s financial management, particularly in the areas of procurement and asset management.

While thanking civil servants for upholding good financial management, he urged them to continue improving in professionalism and competency “to bring the state’s financial management to even greater heights”.

“I would like to assure this august House that my ministry will continue to ensure strategic financial management through adopting best practices and leveraging on technology and digital advancements,” he said.

Wong pointed out that the global economy is anticipated to remain challenging in the face of volatile commodity prices particularly oil prices, pressure on global interest rates, inward-looking policy platforms and protectionism by the United States, as well as a sharper than expected tightening in global financial conditions.

In light of these economic challenges, he appealed to all to exercise effective leadership to ensure prudent and responsible financial management at all times.

He said this is in line with the state embarking on major initiatives including the implementation of a digital economy, new financial model, Light Rail Transit (LRT), and ventures in oil and gas.

The state would ensure the necessary financial resources are available for the smooth execution of these initiatives that would chart Sarawak on a new path of growth, he added.

“These initiatives will be undertaken with vigorous cost and benefit analysis to ensure that these ventures yield financial returns and economic benefits to the state. And at the same time taking into consideration the long term financial stability and sustainability of the state,” added Wong.

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