The 2011 Auditor-General's report showed that apart from a few minor glitches, all four states showed good financial standing.
DAP-held Penang led the way in terms of revenue collection, recording a RM192.19 million or 46.8% increase compared with the RM410.70 million made in 2010 while Selangor, Malaysia’s richest state, increased by RM62.50 million or 4% for the same period.
Kedah, on the other hand, saw its surplus drop when it recorded an increase in operating expenditures despite boosting its revenue, but the report noted that the PAS-led state government had more or less maintained a “satisfactory” balance sheet.
But the rice-bowl state, considered as one of the country’s poorest, is still far from achieving its debt target, said the report.
“The state government’s commitment to the remaining public debt now stands at RM2.60 billion compared with RM2.61 billion in 2010; it is still high,” it read, adding that Kedah must do more to improve its revenue collection.
Oil-rich Kelantan, too, was rated satisfactory due to the increase in its consolidated fund by RM86.17 million or 58.1% to RM234.47 million as compared with the RM148.30 million recorded in 2010.
The PAS-conrolled-state also saw investments in 2011 increase by RM95 million from RM16.33 million in 2010 to RM111.33 million in 2011.
The state’s overall financial performance statement, whereby revenue as compared to total management and development expenditures for 2011, recorded an increase from total deficit of RM171.70 million in 2010 to RM141.53 million in 2011.
But the AG report highlighted poor debt management by Kelantan.
“Public debts increased by RM27.85 million from RM1.11 billion in 2010 to RM1.14 billion in 2011. The arrears of debts repayment to the federal government also increased from RM121.57 million in 2010 to RM179.81 million in 2011″.
Meanwhile, the report noted marked improvements in the performance of state agencies with most rated “excellent” compared to 2010, although it recommended Kelantan and Kedah to provide more training for its officers to improve.
Selangor and Penang were praised for their initiatives to bolster their financial management performance.