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Accountability? Practice what you preach, PM!

It was reported on the June 7, 2014 that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said Putrajaya remains committed to "carrying out its duty as a trustworthy and accountable government".

According to Pendidikan Moral, ' amanah ' (trustworthiness) is defined as a " sikap bertanggungjawab yang boleh menimbulkan kepercayaan dan keyakinan orang lain " (responsible attitude that invokes the trust and confidence of others).

Even at a tender age, Malaysians are taught about trustworthiness. ' Amanah ' is presented to schoolchildren as an important moral virtue that a person should have.

It is then a good thing that our PM is championing accountability and trustworthiness. Accountability and trustworthiness are expected of the government as they handle public funds!

However, past reports from the auditor-general have highlighted countless disingenuous activities. The 2012 report contained surprisingly unnecessary overspending. Items were overpaid for by thousands of times beyond its actual cost

The Information, Communications and Culture Ministry then issued a statement to justify its expenditure in hopes of escaping the imbroglio. No matter what the explanation, overspending by thousands of times is untenable!

A budget exists for a reason

A budget is there for a reason. To limit the amount that can be spent by a particular ministry/department. An important question is, who benefitted from the transaction? And why weren't the people responsible reprimanded?

As if that wasn't bad enough, the 2013 Auditor-General's Report pointed out more malfeasances. The report showed that Malaysia was bleeding itself to death.

Amongst others, the report found that the RM343.55 million Paya Peda Dam development project in Terengganu was 18.49 percent behind schedule, the contractor had failed to adhere to contract clauses, inexperienced sub-contractors had been appointed and a sum of RM0.53 million had been paid out inappropriately.

Furthermore, funds intended for a malnourished children’s rehabilitation programme was spent on the purchase of assets and equipment, the mismanagement of hospital in-house meals and the ineffective management of petroleum revenues.

Clearly there is a lack of accountability and trustworthiness. The Public Accounts Committee may be hauling up ministries involved to explain themselves but no strict action seems to be taken on those who made the questionable decisions.

If Putrajaya is truly serious about "carrying out its duty as a trustworthy and accountable government", come down hard on those wasting public funds! Hard-earned taxpayers' money are being flushed down the toilet or entering the pockets of unscrupulous individuals.

With substantial amounts of money being mismanaged, it is no surprise that the general public is against the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Undeniably, GST is a good way to create revenue for the government. However, if current funds are not handled properly, what's to stop the revenue gained from GST from being misused? Or worse still, benefiting cronies.

Such unethical practices are proof of a lack of a responsible attitude that invokes the trust and confidence of others. Putrajaya must walk the talk. Practice what you preach!

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