VETERAN journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin wants the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to consider treating the Auditor-General’s Report as a “whistle-blower” complaint to initiate investigation into ‘missing’ allocations meant to improve the livelihood of rural Malays.
He cited the recent “damning Auditor-General’s Report 2022 findings” which outlined failure of the Farmers Organisation Board (LPP) to spend RM448.87 mil in subsidies and incentives for rice farmers channelled by the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry.
“In other words, the government allocated in the annual budget, announced it to the public and included the amount in its economic growth estimate but the implementing agency which is the LPP didn’t spend the money,” he lambasted in a recent Facebook post.
“That amount is part of the RM681.71 mil loss or disappearance of public money in that year. The misfortune of LPP’s act becomes more wretched when linked to the various problems faced by rice farmers in particular and rice users in general.”
To re-cap, the AG’s Report 2022 had on Nov 22 exposed more than RM600 mil in losses of public funds from 16 performance audits conducted on 14 ministries involving RM208.882 bil.
Of the 16 performance audits, three each were on the Rural and Regional Development and Home Ministries, and two were conducted on the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry. There were six cases which resulted in losses totalling RM681.71 mil.
This involved the Padi Planting Programme, management of the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) real estate development, the firearms management and surveillance programme, conservation of marine protected areas programme, a programme to encourage investments into the manufacturing sector and the Safe City Programme.
“Acts of distrust (and perhaps also criminal breach of trust) like this cause efforts to improve the living standards of rice farmers, increase agricultural productivity and reduce dependency on imports to fail,” lamented Kadir who was named the national journalism laureate in July 2012.
“The ones who seem to be lucky are the government politicians who are appointed as LPP chairmen. All are Malays. The staff can be said to be all Malays. The persecuted farmers are also majority Malays.”
Earlier, the former Bersatu supreme council member who claimed allegiance with Pakatan Harapan (PH) said weaknesses and irregularities in the country’s financial management are revealed in every AG’s annual report.
“Billions of ringgit in allocations are wasted by the government and its agencies. Corruption, embezzlement, incompetence and laziness are among the causes,” the former editor-in-chief of mainstream the New Straits Times hit out. “It seems that the Cabinet and the public service do not seem to care at all about the findings and rebuke of the AG.”
Added Kadir: “The common people and taxpayers would certainly be happy to support any proposal by the MACC to establish a special branch to investigate and conduct forensic audits on negligent ministries, departments and agencies.” – Nov 27, 2023