November 2, 2010, Tuesday
KUCHING: The state must continue to be disciplined and prudent in its financial management to maintain sustainability and financial autonomy.
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday said that the approach was important to continue the state’s clean bill of health for the State 2009 Public Account.
“This is the 8th consecutive year we had received an unqualified report. I would like to urge all controlling officers including heads of ministries, departments and agencies to view the observations and weaknesses highlighted in the auditor general’s report seriously,” he said in his ‘2011 Budget Speech’ during the first day of the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.
Taib, who is also the Minister of Finance, added that those quarters must take remedial actions to ensure that similar weaknesses would not recur.
In his speech, he also told the press to provide balanced reports of the Auditor General’s comments so that the financial position of the state would be understood by the general public.
“There is even greater responsibility for the state to be more vigilant in upholding the higher standard of prudent financial and resource management, transparency, accountability and good governance as the state is rated by both international and domestic rating agencies,” he added.
“The State Public Account is not only subjected to the audit and scrutiny of the Auditor General Malaysia, its finances are also being monitored by rating agencies on a periodical and disciplined manner in accordance to the prescribed high international financial and accounting standards,” Taib explained.
On the other hand, he said that the state’s credit rating also received commendable investment-grade credit rating of Baa1 with positive outlook and A- with stable outlook from international rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
He said that those grades indicated strong confidence on the state’s sound financial position as well as effective financial and fiscal management.
“In other words, this is another benchmark in assessing the effectiveness of the state’s financial management and discipline in managing our resources.
This is crucial in meeting our effort to attract more foreign investment to the state and secure confidence among international investors to invest as well as actively participate in developing the state,” he stated.