Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Prudence needed in use of public funds

Malaysians in general read with aghast the Auditor General’s Annual Report 2006.It was unbelievable that the various government departments have paid exorbitant prices for common items. Imagine paying RM224 for a RM32 set of screwdrivers, RM1,146 for a set of pens costing RM160, RM5,700 for a car jack worth RM50, the list is long and shocking. Besides over-spending other flaws included corruption, poor management of funds, incomplete and outdated data and lack of enforcement and manpower

What is distressing is that such mismanagement of funds does not seem to be isolated incidences but part of a generalized malaise that had inflicted almost the whole civil service. Nearly all the departments in all the states appear to be involved in some form of misuse of public money. There are set procedures and protocol for financial dealings, purchases and transactions, why are these being blatantly ignored?

These irresponsible actions are due to the lackadaisical attitude of many government officers. If they were to be spending their own money will they do such a thing? The money comes from taxes paid by the people. Money is not easy to come by these days and the people are overburdened with the escalating cost of goods, utilities, housing, education, healthcare and transportation.

Despite all these financial burdens, as law abiding citizens, people still continue to pay their taxes which come from their sweat and blood. If there is dishonesty and wastage of public funds, it would be greatest betrayal and injustice to the people by the very people who are employed to serve them.

This is not the first time that an audit report has revealed the inconsistencies and abuse in government departments. Year in and year out similar reports have brought out such discrepancies in financial management. Unfortunately no remedial actions were taken. Malaysians seem to have very short memories for such unpleasant incidences and the culprits are soon forgotten.

The Prime Minister has promised to look into the problem and we hope that action would be taken against those responsible so that these would not be repeated next year. We hope he will be able to strengthen the financial prudence, honesty and integrity of the officers at all levels of our government departments.

The Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang and his team should be commended for the excellent job they have done to expose the weaknesses in the financial management of the various departments. We hope other department heads too can follow his example to stamp out this malaise that is threatening to take deep roots in our civil service. The ball is now in the court of our political leaders. Do they have the will to stop this misuse of public funds?

Dr.Chris Anthony


Anonymous said...

Dear Doc,
I read with interest your comments on nurses. You mention the Malaysian Nurses Association. I can tell you that this Association exists for the sole purpose of keeping " friends " together rather than supporting all the nurses regardless of their ranks in Malaysia. You should see the congress they hold year after year in some 5 stars grand hotel and location and all the nurses who meet together are " good friends ". Not all nurses get to be its' members even though they are encouraged to. The branch leader and the sub leaders somehow ignore certain applications and obstruct certain nurses from being its' members. They give reasons like the membership fee is so expensive and so you have to wait. And so you wait for the next 10 years and still nothing happens. Nurses don't support nurses. It is worse these days when Malaysia is now turning its' attention to money. All that is preached leads to money and money alone. So when money is the focus of attention, everything becomes unfair, immoral, unethical, dirty and sinfully wrong. Malaysian nurses are not exactly the angels which Florence Nightingale and her colleagues were known for. Slowly even the nurse title is taken away. Gradually there will be no need for nurses. Indon maids can take over and the cleverer ones can be trained to do nursing aka caring and be paid much less than a real so called professional nurse.

Dr.Chris Anthony MBBS,MS,FRCSEd said...

Thank you for your comment and sharing your views on commercialisation of nursing.

I agree with you.

It is a pity that every institution is being politicised and commercialised in the name of prvitisation.


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