Monday, February 18, 2013

Taib under fire over 'missing RM11bil'

Sarawak DAP has demanded further answers of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud over his explanation that RM11 billion accumulated over eight state budgets had been channelled into “a savings account”.

chong chieng jen interview 141108 03With the state government having earlier claimed that the money was meant to promote economic, social and advancement by “approved agencies”, state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen (left) also questioned the identity of the recipients.

Chong pointed out that “approved agencies” could mean “private companies or cronies of family companies”.

He further asked how much of the money had been put into savings and in which banks, as Taib had claimed in deflecting Chong’s original claim that the money has vanished into a “black hole”.
“This opposition person is still young, but he has gone too far in his accusation. We in the state government have put the money into a savings account,” the chief minister had said.

NONEChong, in turn, accused Taib (right)of trying to deceive the public and of avoiding questions he had raised in the state assembly.

“If the state government has nothing to hide, why didn’t it reveal the recipients of the funds?” he asked.

He also described Taib’s statement as “ridiculous, incredible ... and totally nonsensical”. 

“... in the (state) budget it was stated that this amount of RM11 billion was the government’s contribution to approved agencies,” Chong said. 

“This was the reply by the (state) minister concerned, who stated clearly it was for corporate organisations for economic, social and educational development of the state. There was nothing in the minister’s reply about the RM11 billion being put into savings.”

‘Secretive accounts’

Chong said the state assembly had approved allocations for government expenditure on development.

“It does not approve expenditure budget to be transferred into saving accounts especially if it is under development expenditure,” he said.

“This RM11 billion constituted 50 percent of the total development expenditure over the last eight years. So I urge Taib ... not to pull wool over the eyes of the people.

“The money can be kept in the consolidated accounts, if it is for savings. It should not be taken out and invested in another account whereby it is not subject to scrutiny by the state assembly.

“I urge Taib to come clean, and be transparent and accountable ... because this money has gone to mysterious and secretive accounts.”

The writer, who uses a pseudonym, is based in Sarawak.

~ Malaysiakini

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