admits ACA impotence and failure in past Auditor-General Reports but how
different will it be for the ACA with regard to the 2006 Auditor-General’s
Report when ACA had more than two month’s headstart to complete
by Lim Kit Siang
I thank the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)
Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan for inadvertently confirming what
I had said in Parliament during the 2008 Budget debate on Tuesday – that
the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report had been completed on 28th June 2007 and
would have been submitted to the government shortly after.
I posed these questions in Parliament: “Why are Cabinet Ministers only
beginning to wake up now to the gross mismanagement, waste and abuse of
public funds more than two months of the completion of the
“Would the Ministers reacted to these gross mismanagement of public funds
if no publicity had been given to the Auditor-General’s Report?
“Were all the Ministers aware of and had approved the explanations which
the various government departments had given, some most ridiculous and
most unacceptable, to the strictures of the Auditor-General’s Report and
which had been tabled in the House?
“Is every Minister prepared to appear before the Public Accounts Committee
to personally assume responsibility for the mismanagement of public funds
highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report?”
When the Auditor-General’s Report is dated June 28, 2007, it would mean
that it had been submitted to the Yang di Pertuan Agong under Article 107
of the Constitution, with copies available to the Prime Minister, the
Cabinet and relevant heads of Ministries and departments in a matter of days.
This had been confirmed by the ACA director-general in the New Straits
Times report “ACA probe into audit cases 'started earlier'” where
Ahmad Said admitted that the ACA had begun investigations into the
Auditor-General’s 2006 Report “long before it was tabled in Parliament” on
He said the ACA had received copies of the report from the Auditor-General
He said: “We are investigating. You will have the result soon. Most of the
things highlighted are already been investigated”.
The NST report continued:
Although Ahmad Said did not give any details of the investigation, it
is widely believed the ACA is looking at several cases highlighted by the
Among the prominent ones are:
• How the Youth and Sports Ministry paid RM8.39 million more than the
market price for 13 items for its youth institute’s programmes.
Among these were RM224 for a set of four screwdrivers costing RM32 in the
market; RM5.72 million for two crane towers against the market price of
RM2.98 million; technical books consisting of 10 titles priced at
RM10,700; and a 3.1 megapixel digital camera that was bought for RM8,254;
• The way the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has been
dishing out funds to non-governmental organisations which do not qualify
for them; and,
• How two Social Welfare Department district offices in Raub and Bentong
under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry were found to
have distributed RM113,035 aid to 36 people who had died.
If the NST report is reliable, it would mean that there are financial
improprieties raised in the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report which are out-of-bounds for the ACA, such as:
• National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) paying RM5.59 million
in advance to 4,183 students who did not apply for a loan; and
• Escalation of costs because of mismanagement and delays in the
construction of six high-tech offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) by a whopping
Why is this so?
Two days ago, I had challenged the ACA to prove that it is not a
“toothless tiger” and disclose how many persons had been arrested and
prosecuted for corruption and criminal breach of trust from previous
The silence of the ACA Director-General to this challenge has come as no
surprise, for the ACA has nothing to show whatsoever in follow-up actions
on the past Auditor-General’s Reports whether for federal or state
governments resulting in prosecution of public servants who had been
corrupt or committed criminal of trust in mismanaging millions or tens of
millions of ringgit of public funds.
Ambrin made a very revealing comment about ACA producing a blank report
card during his Q & A in the New Sunday Times report “Constant
monitoring will bring results” of September 2, 2007, viz:
Q: After the audit exercise for 2005, you said the Anti-Corruption Agency would be going after civil servants who swindled or mismanaged
public funds. Are you satisfied with the action taken?
A: Our reports are available to the ACA, which is responsible for
investigating wrongdoings. If there is such evidence, it is up to them to
We just highlight the discrepancies, the rest is up to the relevant
agencies and bodies to follow-up.
Ahmad Said’s cryptic remarks yesterday is tantamount to a public
confession of ACA impotence and failure to act on past Auditor-General
Reports. But how different will it be for the ACA this time with regard to
the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report when ACA had adequate and ample time
with at least two months’ headstart to complete investigations already?
Or will the continued impotence of the ACA on the 2006 Auditor-General’s
Reports be just further proof of the need for the ACA to be taken out of
the Prime Minister’s Department to become completely independent body,
answerable only to Parliament?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman