Pahang GLCs must go through national audit, says Tanah Rata assemblyman Chiong

Effective checks and balances will ensure that all forms of corruption, bribery, and overspending can be rooted out and prevented, says Tanah Rata state assemblyman, Chiong Yoke Kong. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, April 6 – Tanah Rata assemblyman Chiong Yoke Kong says it is only proper for all Government-linked Companies (GLCs) in the state of Pahang to go through a national and state audit process and not just internal auditing.

At the recent state assembly sitting, Pahang Chief Minister Wan Rosdy admitted that the five GLCs under the Pahang Corporation Sdn Bhd (Pahang Corp) are not audited by the National Audit Department, Chiong said in a statement issued today.

“Considering that the Pahang GLCs are monopolistic in their respective fields and related to the state governments’ financial management, the GLCs should not operate in a grey area by avoiding the checks and balances from the state assembly and governmental audit.”

Chiong said he had raised a question on the roles of the five GLCs under Pahang Corp during the question and answer session, namely Pahang Management Services Sdn Bhd, Pahang Water and Energy Resources Sdn Bhd, Pahang Orang Asli Corporation Sdn Bhd, Koridor Utiliti Pahang Sdn Bhd and Pahang Go Sdn Bhd.

“The Chief Minister answered that the state GLCs are audited internally, and thus it is not necessary to let the companies be audited by the National Audit Department.”

The GLCs are closely related to the state government expenditure and revenue, for they are given the monopoly power in certain fields and involved in tax collection, asset management, and fine collection.

Furthermore, these GLCs recorded RM52 million in revenue in the year 2021 alone.

Given that these state GLCs are involved in collecting fees from the public and can affect the financial status of the state government, the Chief Minister’s rationale about the companies’ audit process was neither correct nor appropriate, Chiong said.

As the GLCs are only audited internally, the public cannot exercise their right to information, whereas the state assembly does not have the power to hold the companies accountable.

“Hence, we are unable to trace and monitor the operations of the GLCs, including its financial management, human resources management, and projects involved.

“If the details of the GLCs are only disclosed to the government and not the public, the companies are in reality operating in stealth mode. Foreseeably, the companies might eventually become the new hotbeds of corruption.

“We have to remember the lesson that the notorious 1MDB corruption scandal happened exactly because the company operated in stealth mode and utilized public power to misuse the public money for its personal interests.”

As all GLCs are involved in managing the public’s money, they must be scrutinised by the public to enhance their professionalism and transparency, he said, adding that effective checks and balances will ensure that all forms of corruption, bribery, and overspending can be rooted out and prevented.