The Auditor-General's office said the department should not be held responsible or accountable for statements made by the media. (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR : The Auditor-General's office has denied that Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang had specifically singled out Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states of having good financial standing as reported by a pro-opposition news portal.
This was said in an email response to queries sent by The Mole to the Auditor-General's office.
The Mole had, among others, asked Ambrin if it was true that he had, when tabling the Auditor-General's Reports 2011, said that Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states of having good financial standing.
In the email reply that came from state auditor Datuk Mustafa Saman, he wrote: “The answer is ‘no.’ The Auditor-General has never made such specific statements either 'verbally' or in 'writing'.’’
“As you already have known, the Auditor-General’s Reports 2011 were tabled on 15th October 2012. On the same day, our office had distributed softcopies of the AG’s report comprising the Federal Government, the 13 states and statutory bodies together with a general statement for press release.”
Mustafa added that the reports are accessible through the AG’s office website at http://www.audit.gov.my
Free Malaysia Today (FMT) report, quoting the AG's Report, stated that Pakatan states had recorded a good fiscal management and revenues improvement despite a few minor glitches.
According to the news report, the DAP-led Penang government led the way in terms of revenue collection, recording a RM192.19 million or 46.8 per-cent increase compared with the RM410.70 million made in 2010, while Selangor, Malaysia’s richest state, increased by RM62.50 million or four per cent for the same period.
The FMT further reported that Kedah saw its surplus drop when it recorded an increase in operating expenditures despite boosting its revenue however the report noted that the Pas-led state government had more or less maintained a “satisfactory” balance sheet.
Blogger Jebat Must Die wrote that the pro-opposition portal gave a sterling review of the Pakatan Rakyat’s states by arrogating that the Auditor General had given the states run by Pakatan ‘top marks’.
The blogger said, “Although the words ‘top marks’ or its Malay equivalent ‘markah tertinggi’ were never mentioned in the news report itself, Free Malaysia Today felt the need to embellish their story in order to satisfy the opposition’s agenda of giving false information to the public.’’
To another question from The Mole on whether all four states recorded an improvement compared with 2010, Mustafa said: “Referring to the AG’s recent press release, generally all the 13 states financial management performances for the year 2011 were better than the previous year.’’
He further stated that the AG’s reports are made bonafide as required by the Federal Constitution and the Audit Act 1957.
“The Auditor General’s opinion as stated in all the states reports have been made very objectively and impartially.”
The Auditor-General’s office in the statement said that any other statements as reported in the mass media or by any individual which are not based on the audit reports are not the concern to the AG’s office and it should not be held responsible or accountable for it.