Our position is that no amount of check and balances, or thrice a year audits will fix the problem, what is needed is a clear political will on the part of the Government to enforce those checks and balances. Unfortunately time and again, the Government has failed this crucial litmus test on accountability.
I would like to know who is correct in the K-Pop concert debacle – the Auditor General and the present Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who claimed that the Ministry had to eventually pay for the concert; or Khairy’s predecessor Ahmad Shabery Cheek who claimed that it was funded from sponsors through the Majlis Sukan Negara account? Shabery went as far as to claim that the Auditor General was lazy in preparing the report.
Is Khairy is ready to assure the Malaysian public, that his Ministry will no longer be caught incurring questionable transactions for the 2013 Audit which will be released in 2014 especially so in the periods after May 2013, when he was appointed Minister.
The wisdom of spending RM 67.61 million of taxpayers’ money on a single event such as the Hari Belia Negara 2012 is indeed questionable, when its long-term positive impact on Malaysian youth is at best debatable. How much of that money actually directly impacts the Malaysian youth it is purported to benefit, and how much in reality goes to the event management company that organised the event.
The reality is that RM 67.61 million can be better used for the long term betterment and benefits of young people in Malaysia. The money can be spent on sports facilities, self empowerment and betterment programs and other similarly impactful initiatives which have the potential to leave a lasting legacy amongst the youth.
While the Auditor General’s Report may cast a light on wastefulness and systemic failures, it is also a good opportunity for the Government to reflect upon its policy choices and its impact on ordinary Malaysians.