Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is Pak Lah Overspending Our Money ?

Hantu Laut
Pak Lah

The 2009 Budget saw a total allocation of RM207.9 billion. A sum of RM154.2 for operating expenditure and RM53.7 for development expenditure.Although it is normal for budget to increase as the economy grow with higher GDP, excessively high increase in expenditure reflects imprudent fiscal policy.

In 2004, Mahathir's last budget before he stepped down, the operating expenditure was RM80.5 billion and development expenditure of RM31.9 billion.Since handing over to Pak Lah there was a whopping increase of 92% of operating expenditure over period of 5 years, an annualised increase of 18.4%.In comparison the increase in development expenditure was only 68.3% for the same period.

The excessively high increase in the operating expenditure is a worrying sign that there are still high inefficiency,indiscriminate spending, corruption and grossly overstaffed civil service.

In 2006 Malaysia had 1.1 million civil servants, the highest in the region.It would not be wrong to guess that this figure would have increased even more by now.

The total manpower in the civil service shown here doesn't include those employed under government linked companies(GLC) and those employed by states government departments.

We have the highest number of civil servants per population as compared with other countries in the region.

The government have not made any effort to cut down on unnecessary employment and expenditure.All talks but nothing concrete had been done on the ground to bring about the desired reforms.Efficiency and financial probity is still lacking in this homogeneous and overstocked civil service.

Go to any government department and see for yourself how busy our civil servants are and if you need to see any senior officers or chief of department, more often than not, you are told they are either very busy or have gone out for meetings.Ironically, some of those meetings are held on golf courses.

It is also appalling to note the lack of officious determination to correct the ignominious act of cronyism and nepotism in awarding contracts.Many projects had fallen by the waysides or rooted in problems due to this method of giving out contracts.

A perfect example of Murphy's law,where "if anything can go wrong,it will" and not only once but repetitively, is the sad state of affair of the Parliament house, where the roof which has a perpetual leaky bladder has the habit of pissing down on the 'yang berhormats' every now and then.

The total lack of accountability is appalling.There is no semblance of shame from those that have benefited from this most shameful fiasco and no one have been hauled up to take full responsibility.

The cost of refurbishment have been astronomical with initial allocation of RM41.8 million in 2001.Three years later, after completion, the costs had double.In April 2005 parliamentary proceedings were brought to a halt when leak in the roof disrupted power and communications system in the august House.A month later the PWD informed the House Standing Committee the total cost had ballooned to RM99 million.To add salt to the wound and a disgrace to the government another round of leaks occurred in May 2007. Then in May this year water dripped from the air-conditioning vent after a downpour.

Whether we should be amused or angry with what follows after the last episode is food for thought.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said he would present a Cabinet paper to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz for a total rehabilitation of Parliament’s mechanical and electrical systems.

He said it was not a leak but water seepage caused by back flow from the rainwater down-pipe. “As far as the roof slab is concerned, there is no leakage,” he said.

Even more laughable is Public Works Department deputy director-general N. Selvanayagam who said the 45-year-old rainwater down-pipe could not cope with the downpour as its bore was smaller than its original size due to sedimentation.

You mean they didn't change the 45-year old rainwater down pipe and renew the mechanical and electrical systems.Where have the RM99 million gone to? Would a brand new Parliament house cost more than that ?It seems the RM99 million was not spent to refurbish the building but to buy a host of problems and send someone laughing all the way to the bank.

The Parliament house is just one of the many financial blunders that have made mockery of the government.

In Sabah,a couple of years ago a federal project for RM200 million to build the GOF(General Operation Forces) headquarters was abandoned before it even got started.It was given to an UMNO man rumoured to be a legalised illegal immigrant from the southern Philippines.The project collapsed but the man have collected enough money to buy 2 new Ferrari and a few more wives.One of the Ferrari was rumoured to be given to Siti Nurhaliza for her hand in marriage but the pretty lass was smart enough to reject the offer.

There are many other equally distasteful stories that would take too many pages to bring out of the twilight zones.

I think I'll save it for another day.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is natural for budget expenditure to grow as the economy grows. We therefor need to compare the economic growth with the budget growth.

Since most of the civil servants are Malays, this is UMNO's way of distributing the country's wealth to the Malays. It is time for the intake of civil servants to be based on deserving applicants rather than special reserved quota for one race.

I totally agree with a more transparent bidding system for projects for efficiency and pblic accountability. The current system of crony allotment enriches the few (all races are guilty of this) at the expense of the rakyat. Learn from Singapore lah!!!

SM said...

HL,

What do you expect from Pak Lah?!