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Borneo, Kuching, Malaysia, Sarawak, Sarawak Economy, Sarawak Politics, Sarawakian

Sarawak gets another clean bill of financial health

WELL it was certainly heartening to learn that the Auditor-General’s report has given Sarawak’s financial position another clean bill of health.

This is the eighth consecutive year that Sarawak has achieved this position.

Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh confirmed that the Auditor-General issued “a clean certificate and unqualified opinion on the 2010 public accounts of the State”.

Dato Sri Wong added that the Auditor-General also “commented that the State government’s financial position is very good and is of opinion the overall financial management of ministries, departments and agencies is all good”.

The Auditor-General also said that the financial management of State departments and agencies was better in 2010 compared to 2009.

Because this is the eighth consecutive year that the AG has praised the State’s financial management, we might tend to be blase about things and wonder what the big deal is.

Well to have one’s financial management labelled as “very good” by the AG is actually very impressive.

It means that the State government is managing its finances prudently and responsibly so that Sarawakians can continue to enjoy the prosperity, stability and peace that we tend to take for granted.

In times when economies all over the world, from the United States to countries in the eurozone, are suffering from unprecedented financial crises, due in part to the poor financial management and fiscal policies of their respective governments, we really should count our blessings and realise how much we have actually been sheltered from such problems.

Did you know that the United States-based financial services company Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its A- rating for Sarawak in March?

S&P’s said that “Sarawak’s operating performance has been extremely good, with large operating surpluses averaging 63 per cent of its annual operating revenue from 2005 to 2009.”

This is the same S&P’s that downgraded the United States from its prized AAA rating to AA-.

So it’s not just the Auditor-General who thinks Sarawak is doing well in terms of its financial management. Even a well-respected international financial agency thinks so.

Well done Sarawak. Keep up the good work.

The report from The Borneo Post:

Sarawak gets ‘clean bill of health’ — AG’s Report

By Lee Ya Yun

KUCHING: Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh yesterday said the state government has been given “a clean bill of health” for its financial position by the auditor-general.

He stressed that it was the eighth consecutive year that the state government had gained such status.

“In conclusion, the auditor-general issues a clean certificate and unqualified opinion on the 2010 public accounts of the state and commented that the state government’s financial position is very good and is of opinion the overall financial management of ministries, departments and agencies is all good.

“Again, it is given a clean bill of financial health. I think it is the eighth consecutive year (that the state government is given the status),” he told reporters after the State Cabinet meeting at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.

Sarawak received good reviews from the auditor-general who cited the financial management of state departments and agencies as better compared to 2009.

The AG Report 2010 said this was because the departments and agencies concerned had placed more focus since the Accountability Index was implemented by the National Audit Department in 2007.

Nevertheless, the state could have performed better if controllers or heads of departments had corrected the weaknesses as pointed out by the auditor-general and taken preventive measures to ensure the same mistakes were not be repeated.

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