Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Contingency fund of RM1.4 billion not missing, says Awang Adek

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek clarified that the RM1.4 billion allegedly missing from the Treasury’s contingency fund went to the supplementary budget, had been presented to Parliament and has been accounted for.

“All unplanned expenses of the fund had been tabled, accounted for and approved by Parliament in a supplementary budget tabled during the March-April sitting last year.

“The fund is topped up by RM1.5 billion annually and the RM1.4 billion used for last year's unforeseen expenses has been added back,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby.

Awang said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who made the allegation, had either forgot how it works or does not understand the practice.

Yesterday, the opposition had alleged that RM1.4 billion has gone missing from the Treasury’s contingency fund which is meant for unforeseen federal expenses.

Anwar had said the Auditor-General had found just RM79.15 million in the fund even though the Government Expenditure Estimates reported that RM1.5 billion had been allocated for that purpose.

He had also claimed that the reason behind the 17-day delay between the tabling of Budget 2012 and the Auditor-General’s Report could be because the government was trying to hide the discrepancy in the fund.

However, Awang showing a detailed table of how the RM1.4 billion allocated for the 2010 budget was spent, criticised the opposition for making baseless accusations.

He said the areas covered include money amounting to about RM2 million given to the election commission for election related matters such as services and supply.

“The minister is allowed to spend the money first and then table it in Parliament, but it must be tabled at the very next available opportunity,” he said.

Awang said that Anwar’s allegations were irresponsible and were meant to mislead voters who may not be aware of the technicalities of the issue.

He said that the government allocates a fixed RM1.5 billion for the contingency fund provided for under the Federal Constitution.

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