Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kelantan defends purchase of 39 new vehicles worth RM4.57m

KOTA BARU (The Star, 14/9/2007): The state government has defended its decision to purchase 39 new vehicles, including 13 imported models, worth RM4.57mil as it was part of the requirements of state agencies and local authorities.

Furthermore, several of the vehicles purchased were second-hand reconditioned models as the state was conscious about not overspending, state financial planning committee chairman Datuk Husam Musa said.

According to him, although it was costly, the purchasing of the vehicles was necessary in view of the allocated rights of a few government agencies. Certain state civil posts are also entitled to their own vehicles, he added.

Husam said this in response to the Auditor-General's Report on the state’s administrative expenses from its 2006 Budget.

The annual audit report cited the purchase of the 39 new vehicles as one of the factors contributing to a higher Budget deficit of RM90.59mil for last year in Kelantan.

The deficit emerged after the state expenses were more than income earned. The state spent RM333.93mil while it merely earned RM243.34mil.

The accummulated fiscal deficit for Kelantan rose from RM241.97mil in 2005 to RM332.56mil for last year.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang summarised that the state’s financial status was not steady. He advised the state to undertake a form of austerity spending without compromising on the quality of services and public delivery system.

Ambrin also suggested that the state utilise more Malaysian-made Proton Perdana limousines to save on cost as was done by some state governments and the Federal Government.

Initially, the state executive councillors meetings had approved the purchase of 11 new vehicles worth RM1.29mil but it was later changed, and the state went ahead instead to purchase 39 vehicles at RM4.57mil.


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