Publishing how much govt spent without scrutiny isn't accountability - Lim

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Publishing how much govt spent without scrutiny isn't accountability - Lim
Publishing how much govt spent without scrutiny isn't accountability - Lim

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has rubbished his successor's assertion that Putrajaya will be accountable for its unscrutinised emergency spending by publishing the expenses.

He said Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz's claims were spurious and made a mockery of Parliament.

"Merely publishing on the federal or state government gazettes the amount of spending done under emergency powers, is by no means tantamount to observing transparency or accountability," Lim said in a statement today.

Last week, an emergency ordinance was introduced which allowed the finance minister, chief ministers, or menteri besar to pass a supplementary budget or use consolidated funds without going through the legislature as long as the emergency is in force.

The law was widely panned by critics who accused the government of wanting to spend without discretion.

Zafrul said the ordinance was necessary as Parliament had been suspended under the current emergency.

Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, said publication of expenses, however, cannot supplant Parliament's legislative authority.

"The nation’s tens of billions of ringgit can now be determined by one person instead of going through the check-and-balance system of parliamentary democracy.

"Parliament is the correct platform to check abuses of power, financial misappropriation, and misuse of public funds for political purposes, just like the RM85.5 million allocation for Department of Community Communications (J-KOM) was slashed to RM40.5 million after protests from MPs," he said.

He reiterated DAP's pledge that they will not move or support any no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin before Aug 1 if Parliament is reconvened.