Shahrir Abdul Samad, has slammed the government…set the record straight… the RM28 billion ‘wastes’ annually…
“Once an issue has been made public, the government has an obligation to respond clearly and quickly,” he said.
He was speaking to Malaysiakini after launching the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca)’s news portal Konsumerkini and their Campaign for Mindful Consumption in Petaling Jaya, Selangor today.
Shahrir (left) was referring to an article that appeared in The Star last October which said that excessive payments for government contracts could reach RM28 million a year.The estimate was made assuming an overpayment of 20 percent
for the contracts.
Auditor general queried
According to the Johor Bahru MP, his queries to the auditor general and the Public Accounts Committee revealed the figure to be ‘erroneous’.
“Where did they get this figure from? 20 percent of certain projects is not the same as 20 percent of the development expenditure budget,” said the former Public Accounts Committee chairperson.
Failure to rectify the figure, he added, has led the public to take it as the truth.
“Even opposition leaders are using this figure in Parliament,” he said.
Shahrir also lambasted the Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah for not giving a clear picture of the issue.
In the article, Ahmad Husni fell short of providing a solid figure, and instead admitted that the government suffered ‘a lot’ from over estimated contracts.
“When people see his name there, it lends credibility to the article and this feeds into the ‘charade’,” he said.
The government’s silence on the matter ‘alludes that it is confirmed’, especially when the story is read alongside the AG’s report.
The report, released in last October highlighted numerous instances where the government overpaid for contracts, although the total amount was not tabulated.