Every piece of news about Taib Mahmud, the longest serving Chief Minister of Sarawak and Malaysia these days seem to be an ‘expose’.
Sarawak Report made another startling headline on Thursday of a purported ‘black hole’ in the state government budget.
Taib was alleged to have failed to account for a staggering RM 4.8 billion of government expenditure over the past 3 years alone the site said citing figures released by the opposition party.
This represents more than half the Development Budget, which in turn represents nearly three quarters of the total expenditure for the State!
The DAP budget documents provides a detailed analysis. Firstly, it outlines the extraordinary level of personal control that Taib has assumed over Sarawak’s expenditure particular his three ministries (the Finance Ministry, Planning and Resources Ministry and Chief Ministry) together control 80% of the Development Budget.
Secondly, the document explains the secretive system? that the Chief Minister has developed for allocating more half of this huge sum of money.
It was alleged, over the past several years he has employed a highly mysterious expenditure category termed the ‘Government Contribution towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund’ into which this money is channelled.
There is no specification as to who these ‘Approved Agencies’ are or which Trust Fund is being referred to and the state Government has consistently refused requests for information on the subject according to the report!
Thus, in 2009 RM 1.825 billion (59.3% of the total RM 2.430 billion) is unaccounted for in the Development Budget, the DAP calculations suggest.
In 2008 it was RM1.719 billion (60% of the total RM2.865 billion) and in 2007 it was RM1.257 billionn (54.8% of the total RM2.294 billion).
The DAP raise the valid question as to what is the point of carefully auditing 40% of the budget if the remaining 60% is kept secret?
Graft buster Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission which initially claimed a massive amount of federal funding to the state were either diverted or leakage has also been lying low over its investigation into the matter.