Focus View
MPs and state reps' allocations must be audited
FocusM team | 14 Jul 2017 00:30
The issue of audits on spending by politicians surfaced recently after Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen’s outburst against the manner in which he was audited. 

While this case has a political dimension to it, it should not distract us from the fact that there must be stringent audits when public funds are involved. 

Malaysians are used to hearing about the Auditor-General’s reports highlighting mismanagement, wastage and corruption. But less frequently debated is how individual MPs and state assemblymen use the allocated funds for their constituencies.
 
These wakil raykat or people’s representatives get different allocations depending on their affiliation and the party in power. For example, PKR-controlled Selangor MPs get RM250,000 each per annum while the assemblymen get RM1 mil to run community projects. 

Barisan Nasional MPs each get RM5 mil per annum while BN assemblymen in Sarawak receive a whopping RM9 mil. 

Every MP should be audited, regardless of party affiliation, as they are all spending taxpayers’ money. To be sure, Wong said he is not against being audited but objects to the manner in which the audit was carried out. 

Nonetheless, the two recommendations following Wong’s audit are reasonable. They are to prepare a budget proposal on his community spending and to spend more on small projects in his constituency.   

It makes sense for all wakil rakyat to disclose how they use public funds. The public, especially voters, can evaluate if the money is prudently spent and on necessary projects. It will also be easier to detect inflated contracts. 

The federal and state governments should continue to audit their wakil rakyat in good faith and with their cooperation. Make these audit reports easily available to the public.