Finance Minister: Some govt projects delayed as ministries took time distributing funds

Azril Annuar
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng speaks during the 2019 Selangor DAP Convention at the Dewan Civic MBPJ, Petaling Jaya November 10, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, Nov 10 — Some government development projects for 2019 have been delayed due to late distribution by the respective ministries and will only commence next year, Lim Guan Eng revealed today.

In his address at the Selangor DAP Annual Convention today, the finance minister said that his ministry had given the allocations in January this year but some ministries had only distributed the funds as late as May or June.

“These projects will not be spent this year because if [it was disbursed] in May, they will have to do the preliminary design, basic work and training [first],” said Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.

“Tender can then only be called in September or October. By the time the whole tender valuation is completed, the project can only start and money spent next year. So this type of delays is unnecessary.

“So now we are having meetings to ensure that what happened last year won't happen this year. 2020 budget allocation will be spent in 2020, not a year later,” Lim added.

However, on a positive note this will create a “double barrel” spending for 2020 which will help boost the economic performance of the country.

He noted that even with the absence of full government spending this year, Malaysia's development is still encouraging and he predicted that next year, things will not turn for the worse.

The Bagan MP refused to disclose which ministry had created the backlogs, pointing out that the federal civil service needed time to adjust to the needs of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration when compared to how the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration used to operate.

Lim recalled his own experience when he first became Penang chief minister and that it took his administration around two to three years before the civil service were fully on board with their policies and administrative style.

At the same time, Lim acknowledged that there are BN sympathisers in the civil service whom he claimed are colluding with the Opposition to make things difficult for the current PH administration — a scenario that Lim said he is familiar with after taking over Penang in 2008.

“This is a challenge that we must face and manage. That's why I ask the people to be patient so that once we are able to move together with the same vision as our policies, they will see the real benefit,” said Lim.

Related Articles Malaysia’s shadow economy worth around RM300b, says Guan Eng Guan Eng: Chin Tong merely helping Pakatan candidate communicate with Tg Piai’s Chinese community Guan Eng: Govt ensures 2020 development expenditure to be used in the same year