KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Youth chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain believes the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report Series 2 has vindicated the previous Barisan Nasional state government.
Aziz slammed Chief Minister Shafie Apdal for the latter’s statement during a Warisan event on May 29 that the state government did not have any reserves.
He said the report had shown that this was not true and that Sabah was in good financial health, with the state’s reserves increasing to RM3.8 billion this year from RM184 million in 2002.
“The statement by Shafie shocked investors and industry players. It was as if the previous BN government under Musa Aman had plundered and looted the state.
“This proves that the Warisan government today needs to emulate the good governance as carried out during BN’s rule so that the state will continue to show improvements in its revenue and financial reserves,” he said here today.
The audit report stated Sabah is in good financial shape with its consolidated revenue account showing a surplus of RM56.66 million while total investment has increased to RM9.09 billion compared to RM8.54 billion in 2016.
The report indicated that the state’s financial statements as a whole had provided a true and fair view of its financial year ending Dec 31, 2017, and that the accounting records had also been properly maintained and updated.
The report recommended several measures to improve its financial performance.
Among others, the state government is recommended to continue to practise prudent spending and work on collecting arrears amounting to RM534.89 million and other outstanding loans amounting to RM802.32 million.
Aziz said the surplus in the consolidated revenue account also showed that the BN government was efficient in diversifying its income without sacrificing the interests of Sabahans.
As such, he questioned several proposals by the government such as the reopening of the barter trade system next Jan 1, the issuance of work passes to foreigners and the study on using coal as an alternative power source.
Aziz also urged the state government to demand from Petronas additional exporation rights for the state-owned Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd (SIP), which was formed in 2014.
“Petronas should give space and opportunity to SIP to grow in the industry as it did with its own subsidiary (Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd),” he said.