Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the new Bentong DAP Branch and Pahang DAP State premises in Bentong on Sunday, 30th October 2011:
Surcharge the public officers responsible for over payments of 2,900-11,400 % more the market price and such financial hanky-panky will cease in future AG Reports
Malaysia must be the only country which aspires to be developed nation status where year in year out, the Auditor-General reports of horror tales of financial hanky-panky, irregularities, abuses of power and financial indiscipline in Federal Government accounts.
Malaysians are entitled to know why such financial hanky-panky and irregularities could not be stamped out when there should be quite easy ways of achieving this objective.
For instance, surcharge the public officers responsible for paying RM5,700 or 11,400% more the market price of a car jack or RM56,350 or 2,900 per cent higher than the market price of binoculars and I am sure, such financial hanky-panky will cease in future Auditor-General's Reports once the message is sent out the government servants who authorize irregular payments will have to personally account for their financial indiscipline from their personal pay checks.
At present, these public officers do not have to pay for their financial misfeances and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is a standing joke as it has proved to be completely impotent and ineffective in taking actions against errant public servants based on the voluminous Auditor-General's annual reports.
However, it will not be possible for the government to surcharge errant public servants for their financial misdeeds as authorizing payment exceeding 2,900 per cent or even over 11,400 per cent of the market price of items procured, which comes to several thousand or tens of thousands of ringgit per item, if the "big sharks" in high political and government places are allowed immunity and impunity for corruption and abuses of public funds running into millions, tens or even hundreds of millions of ringgit - as for instance improperly approving mega-projects without proper open tender procedures.
It has been estimated that the government loses some RM28 billion a year from corruption, malpractices and "leakages". How can the authorities have the credibility and authority to introduce a "surcharge" regime to hold public servants to account for improper public expenditures unless there is in place a "no tolerance for corruption" policy where everyone, including the "sharks", are mercilessly brought to justice for any corruption practice or abuse of public funds?
Unless there is the political will to launch an all-out war against corruption including those occupying high political and government positions under a "no tolerance for corruption" campaign, financial abuses and malpractices as those retailed in the Auditor-General Annual reports will continue to be an annual and commonplace occurrence.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor