KOTA KINABALU: The Auditor-General’s (A-G) 2017 report on Sabah clearly disputes Warisan’s claim that the state’s finances were mismanaged by the previous administration and vindicates ousted chief minister Musa Aman, Sabah Umno said today.
Its chief, Hajiji Mohd Noor, said the report in fact came as no surprise.
“It is a continuation of similar reports for the last 15 years under the tenure of Musa as Sabah minister of finance.
“It is not too farfetched to even say that he was one of the best financial managers Sabah ever had. He managed to present a surplus budget for 2018 despite the dismal price of oil back then, and surplus accounts for 16 years in a row.”
Hajiji said the previous administration did not spend more than it earned, a far cry from Warisan’s claims that the state’s finances were badly managed and that the party was left with not much to fulfil its manifesto promises.
The Sulaman assemblyman said when Shafie Apdal took over as chief minister, Warisan claimed the state’s finances were in dire straits.
“Sadly, this alleged lack of funds is the old song and dance that they keep using as an excuse not to deliver to the people,” he said, adding that the figures for 2017 spoke for themselves.
He said the state consolidated fund under Musa rose last year and there was surplus, resulting in a rise in accumulated balance, revenue collection and operating expenditure.
He said investments in fixed and state deposits topped RM2.51 billion while investments in public corporations and statutory bodies totalled RM6.58 billion. The two investments brought in RM112.67 million and RM140.43 million in interest and dividends.
“In spite of this achievement, unfortunately, the Warisan-led government misled the people about Musa’s performance as chief minister and finance minister for the last 15 years.
“The recent revelation of the A-G’s Report proves that the state government contradicted itself in presenting the Sabah Budget 2019 recently. Since helming the office, the Warisan government has committed numerous flip-flops on Sabah’s financial position.
“Initially, the script was ‘There is no money in the coffers. Then suddenly there is money but wait… it looks like there is money but it is through accounting manipulations’. Surely the A-G’s 2017 report on Sabah has not been manipulated.”
He said this showed Warisan’s “malice” in attempting to belittle the achievements of the previous state government.
“If the new administration does not have the decency or the courtesy to acknowledge the milestones of its predecessor, the least it can do is not to mislead the people,” Hajiji added.