Tuesday, February 3, 2015


By Mahathir Mohamad

1. We were poor before. In those days we talked of millions of Ringgit. Now we are much richer and we talk of billions of Ringgit. It is difficult to comprehend what billions of Ringgit mean. Even when a few millions are lost we hardly notice it.
2. I read in the paper someone suggesting that Government should have an external auditor so that there would be more credibility in the eyes of the public.
3. I think it is a good idea. But it should be extended to other Government agencies, including those which are not governed by Government General orders or Salary Scheme.
4. This need is urgent now because with Malaysia’s greater wealth large sums of money are being expended and managed by both the Government and the agencies. We see entities such as Felda, EPF, Tabung Haji spending billions in acquiring foreign properties while others such as MAHB and Petronas have bought shares in airports and Canadian ventures also involving huge sums of money.
5. Of course their accounts have been made public but there are many things that the public would like to know.
6. An outside audit by a good auditing firm appointed by an independent body not connected with the companies to be audited would help allay the suspicions and worries of the public. The audit firms should be beholden only to the independent body as well as be paid by them. Government and its agencies should have no say at all.
7. The public should be allowed to testify or at least to give information on anything they may know about the accounts being audited. While there should be transparency, in some cases the identities of the informants should not be revealed.
8. With a proper audit by reputable auditors the cleanliness of the management of public funds should be established. The Government’s name would be cleared.

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