Monday, September 28

Identify and punish those misappropriating public funds, says See


KUCHING: The Auditor-General (AG) should identify and prosecute those involved in the misappropriation of public funds to deter future occurrence of such illegal act.

Stressing this, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How wants strict actions to be taken against the offenders to protect the interests of the public.

“The misappropriation of public funds is a criminal offence and the offenders ought to be identified and prosecuted. The AG can recommend to the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and Police so that they can investigate these people.

“I think this is a better way to deter other people from repeating the same mistakes,” he said when giving his observations on the AG’s Report 2012 yesterday.

See, who is also state PKR vice chairman, pointed out that what was glaring was that the same weaknesses, faults and mistakes were repeated despite being highlighted in the 2011 AG’s Report.

“I looked at AG’s 2011 and 2012 reports, I think one of the main problems is we have no way to stop what has been happening because the AG’s reports made it seem as though the government is not serious in addressing those issues.

“If you look at the preface, the weaknesses observed are just the same weaknesses that were highlighted by the AG’s report every year. What the AG did after the completion of each report was to make recommendations for corrective actions or to prevent same weaknesses from recurring.”

He opined that recommendations alone would not be able to stop the corrupt practices, mismanagement and wastage of public funds.

See regretted that the AG Report did not identify the actual amount of public funds being misappropriated as the annual AG Report only covered a small fraction of the departments, saying what was revealed was just “the tip of the iceberg”.

“They only identified 20 government bodies in the ministries and four government-related companies, whereas there are hundreds of management bodies in the ministries, thousands of statutory bodies and government-linked companies.”

Meanwhile, state PKR chairman Baru Bian suggested that the AG’s report include actions taken by the MACC or departments against those involved in the misappropriation of funds.

“It is only with disciplinary actions or prosecution against those who breached the law that you can see some improvements. If not, it will be the same story over and over again.”