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Friday, 23 December 2016

Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang expresses his frustration "government officials cannot succeed in business because they have a different mindset"

Ambrin: RM2bil recovered from audits

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KUANTAN: Government agencies have recovered an estimated RM2bil in follow-up actions after the recent audits, said Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang.
Ambrin said this was just based on a small sample size of agencies audited, so cases of misappropriated funds could have been a lot larger.
“If there had not been audits, the RM2bil would have been lost. People always ask me the extent of leakages in this country but I do not know because we only carry out audits on a limited sample size.
“For example, we did an audit on security in schools. The sample size is only 46 schools out of some 10,000 schools nationwide.
“Within that sample, there are already all kinds of weaknesses and leakages so imagine how widespread it is,” Ambrin said at an integrity talk programme here yesterday.
He said there was a feeling of hopelessness among the public when they kept reading about cases of fraud and corruption in the Auditor-General’s reports.
“There was a case where a 300m to 400m road construction contract was given to four contractors.
“Then there’s that incident at the Youth and Sports Ministry and that one at the Sabah Water Department.
“People are questioning how these things can happen and what kind of country we are living in where corruption like this can take place.
“Almost every day there are reports of government officials getting caught for corruption.
“I can’t deny there are officials with integrity but a few rotten apples destroy everything,” he said.
He also spoke about government-linked companies (GLCs) that were draining the Government’s resources without giving anything back in return.
“GLCs get all sorts of aid like projects, grants and financial assistance but what does the Government get out of it?
“The Government seldom receives dividends and whenever loans are given to these GLCs, they keep piling up.
“These GLCs burden the Government, so we must examine the cause. Those with experience should run a company but look at who are on the board of directors.
“I am sorry to say government officials cannot succeed in business because they have a different mindset,” he said.
Ambrin added that management could not be left as the dominant force without the supervision of the board of directors, but this would not be effective if the directors themselves did not contribute anything.
In his conclusion, Ambrin proposed that excellent work be made a culture in government service to repair the damaged public perception.
To achieve it, he said four aspects had to be looked into, which were attitude, skills, knowledge and integrity.
“Continuous improvement is humanly possible to achieve. The question is whether we want to improve or not,” he said.

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