Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu explained the 5 per cent (RM21.28 million) reduction in allocation for development in Budget 2019 vis-à-vis Budget 2018. It was in his winding-up speech on the final sitting of the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, December 5.
The development allocation for Budget 2019 is set at RM400 million, which is a continuation of the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 to 2020). Perak RMK-11 was presented in 2015 with a spending ceiling of RM1.76 billion for a period of five years. The total amount expanded from 2016 to 2018 was RM1.22 billion compared to the original estimation of RM1.06 billion. Only the remainder, RM539 million, is available for 2019 and 2020 (two years).
Thus, 2019 development budget is set at RM400 million and its remainder. If there is no proposal to increase the RMK11 ceiling, it is left with only RM139 million for Year 2020. The ceiling had exceeded by 9.35 per cent (RM164 million) ending 2018 at an average of RM352 million per year.
As such, the state government will ensure all spending is done in accordance to need and at the real cost price.
“The five per cent decrease is nothing compared to leakages that took place when Barisan Nasional was in power. The amount was in excess of 30 per cent, I refer to the former auditor general, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang’s report in January 2017. In one forum, he was quoted as saying 10 to 30 per cent of the previous government’s fund was lost due to leakage and mismanagement. In addition, about 20 to 30 per cent of project funding was lost due to corrupt practices,” said Faizal (PH – Chenderiang).
“The five per cent reduction in development budget will not have a huge impact on the state’s development compared to what happened under the previous government,” he added.
“Checks on financial reports of some government-linked companies found that leakages were due to biased agreements by the previous management which caused losses to the GLCs concerned,” he lamented.
The companies in question were Kumpulan Perbadanan Pembangunan Pertanian Negeri Perak and MB Inc.