by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Mp for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 29.3.1984:
CALL on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to explain why the Auditor-General’s Report on the Federal Government Accounts 1981 was withdrawn after tabling in Parliament
The tabling of the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts on Tuesday, 27.3.1984, and its subsequent withdrawal is most improper, unparliamentary and calls for a full and frank explanation by the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.
The Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat does not provide for any government report or papers to be withdrawn, after it had been tabled, except by way of a formal motion seeking the permission of the House for such withdrawal.
Furthermore, Parliament should not allow the AG’s Report to be withdrawn without the consent and approval of Dewan Rakyat, for
Parliament must be maintained as a separate and distinct institution from the Executive.
The mysterious action of the Government in tabling and then immediately withdrawing the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts has raised many questions.
Firstly, the explanation in a local press without attributing the source claiming that the Auditor-General’s Report was withdrawn because it had been tabled without the approval of the Cabinet is not supportable by Constitutional provisions.
Article 107 of the Malaysian Constitution provides that the Auditor-General shall submit his reports on the Federal Government Accounts to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who shall cause them to be laid before the House of Representatives.
The question of the Auditor-General’s Report having to be approved by the Cabinet first before submitting to the Dewan Rakyat is therefore completely unconstitutional, and does not accord with our Constitutional provisions. In fact, if the Auditor-General’s Report require the Cabinet’s approval before tabling in Dewan Rakyat, then the independence of Auditor-General becomes a farce, as his reports could then be edited by the Cabinet to suit the Cabinet’s wishes.
A more probable reason would be that the 1981 Auditor-General Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts would be highly embarrassing for the 2M Government, for that was the first year in office of a government which pledged to have an efficient, trustworthy and clean administration.
If the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts reveals that the government administration under the 2M leadership is no different, or in some aspects worse, then previous administrative, the Report is likely to be a source of great embarrassment especially during the coming Parliamentary debate on the Mid-tern Review of the Fourth Malaysia Plan, which would review government performance in economic and financial management of the country’s future.
This, however, is no justification for suppression of the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts, for the Dewan Rakyat has the right to read the report, especially as it would relevant to the Mid-Term Review debate on the Fourth Malaysia Plan.
I call on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to give a full explanation with the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1981 Federal Government Accounts was withdrawn after tabling with such poor parliamentary taste, and to direct the tabling the Report immediately to serve as a supplementary source of document to enlighten the Mid-Term Review debate in Parliament.