TTF: The Auditor-General’s Report 2016 Series 2 opened up a Pandora’s box following revelations that the Penang state administration spent only 88.8 percent of the RM346.12 million allotted for development. Out of the 88.8 percent, RM73.61 million was quietly tucked away into the State Finance Department’s Trust Fund (see news item below).
What that means, is the Lim Guan Eng administration utilised only 67.6 percent of the RM346.12 million – or RM233.98 million – for development but made it look as if it spent RM307.45 million for the purpose. In other words, the Guan Eng administration conned the people of Penang into thinking that the state spent far more for development than it actually did.
Unbeknown to them, he put a portion of that money into a Trust Fund to have it declared as state revenue. And this is nothing new – between the years 2010 and 2014, he got his men to shut down some trustee accounts and quietly channeled money from those accounts into a consolidated fund. The fund – worth some RM240 million – was then recognised as state revenue and reported in ways that suggested exponential budget gains.
That explains how Penang registered a cumulative RM574 surplus between the years 2008 and 2015. The Chief Minister secretly transfers funds around to have them declared as spent in one account and revenue in another.
Which is why, if you were to check the state’s books, you would notice that the state spent development money worth RM307.45 million, which technically, is a lie. A certain percentage of that money was not spent on actual development but put in a Trust Fund to be registered as revenue.
See the scam?
GEORGE TOWN: The DAP-led Penang government has been asked to explain asked why development expenditure for 2016 was not utilised, as was reported in the Auditor-General’s Report 2016 Series 2.
Penang UMNO chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said that according to the report, RM346.12 million was allocated to implement 2,868 projects but only RM307.45 million or 88.8 per cent was spent.
The report revealed that of the amount, RM73.61 million was transferred to the State Finance Department’s Trust Fund and deemed spent meaning only 67.6 was utilised for development in 2016, he said.
“The people of Penang want to know why this is so,” he said in a statement here today.
The report, he said, stated that 40 projects were cancelled, nine deferred, one became ‘sick’ while 15 others under the Public Works Department were also can cancelled last year.
“This is proof of the failure of the state government to govern properly,” he added.