Revised 2015 Budget should declare war on corruption, incompetence and extravagance to provide example and leadership of government commitment to austerity, accountability and integrity
The revised 2015 Budget should declare war on corruption, incompetence and extravagance to provide example and leadership of government commitment to austerity, accountability and integrity.
Such a campaign would save the Malaysian government and taxpayers scores of billions of ringgit, which would help the country tide through the looming economic crisis as a result of the sharp fall in prices of oil and commodities and the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit.
Despite the greatest investment in anti-corruption campaign, with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission developing into a huge bureaucracy but with very little to show in terms of results, the Najib premiership is still far behind the Abdullah and Mahathir premierships in both ranking and score of the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
Malaysia lags seriously behind other countries in the battle against corruption, particularly Indonesia and China, and Malaysia is at risk of being overtaken by these two countries which had occupied the bottom two of rungs of the TI CPI 1995 two decades ago in a matter of a decade.
China had persevered in its anti-corruption campaign against “tigers and flies” while Indonesia had been quite impressive in catching “crocodiles”, but Malaysia had failed to net and jail a single tiger or crocodile in the 34 years of the the Prime Ministers of Tun Dr. Mahathir, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Has the Prime Minister’s Department or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission ever conducted a study why China could net “tigers” and Indonesia catch “crocodiles” while Malaysia has singularly failed to do, only able to get “ikan bilis” in the last two decades of the anti-corruption campaign?
If the revised 2013 Budget could mark a serious anti-corruption campaign first time in the country’s history, with the jailing of the first “tiger” or “crocodile”, then it would be a most path-breaking event.
The country’s worst floods catastrophe in living memory is also the worst example of the government’s lack of competence and lack of a sense of crisis, resulting in the appalling Federal government responses to the worst floods disaster in history, as well in the other phases of floods disaster management on relief and reconstruction.
The damages of the worst floods catastrophe in living memory in Malaysia would not be so great as to cause over a million flood victims, evacuating a quarter of a million to the various flood relief centres in the country, causing a death toll of at least 25, damages to the tune of billions of ringgit and the devastation of Ground Zero zones like Manek Urai, Manjur and Karangan, if both the Federal and State Governments, particularly the National Security Council chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had been better prepared for the floods disasters.
The false claim by the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan that the Federal Government had spent RM800 million on January 5 to help the flood victims in terms of food, logistics and clean-up operations when only RM41 million had been spent to date, is the best evidence of the incompetence and ineptitude of Federal Ministers in charge of the destiny of Malaysians.
I do not believe that Maslan had set out to deliberately lie or mislead Malaysians with his false and ridiculous RM800 million claim, as once it was made, everyone on the ground involved in the flood relief operations knew it was utter rubbish, as nobody could sense or feel the hundreds of millions of ringgit which the Federal Government claims to have been spent.
The very fact that a Deputy Finance Minister could make such a blooper is an indication of the quality of governance in Malaysia.
The annual reports of the Auditor-General provides reams of example of government waste, extravagance and ineptitude year after year.
I had suggested that Najib should set example by slashing by at least 50 per cent the RM19.1 billion budget for the Prime Minister’s Department, which involved gargantuan “slush funds” solely to further the political agenda of the ruling coalition.
The Federal Government is also bloated with too many Ministries and Ministers as compared to other countries like Australia and India.
For a start, let Najib slash the number of Ministers and Ministries by at least 10 per cent – to mark a new era of government austerity and integrity.