Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas shopping, again?

In his book 'A Doctor in the House', former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote about 'Christmas Shopping' - a habit to finish unspent budget unnecessarily.

Some ministries and agencies will have to find ways to finish the allocation for that fiscal year or having the new budget for the next financial year deducted. Having failed to spend also brings the impression of incompetency.

"In the past, unspent budget allocations for the various Ministries and Departments would be used up at the end of every year for what was called 'Christmas shopping". They were determined to use up all the funds allocated to them for the year; how else might they ask for increased funding, or to resist cuts, for the next year?

"Public servants try not to return funds because doing so implies that they are inefficient or too generously funded in the first place, so they will do just anything to show that all their allocations have been spent.

"Often, it was said, they bought useless things, inappropriate equipment of gadgets that quickly became obsolete after hardly any use..."
, according to TDM, who 'put a stop' to such a bad habit after taking office in 1981.

However, I just wonder if such a practice is still on subscribe.

After some trips throughout the country over the past two months, I noted some agencies were busy sending their personnel to various meetings and 'courses'. And the venues chosen are normally 'far from home' and at posh hotels and resorts.

Few senior officials at different agencies also told me that their bosses have issued order to buy things that are irrelevant with their scope of work.

I am of the opinion that the Auditor General office should be more efficient in its job. Auditing should start sometimes in October every year and not January. When Ishak Tadin was auditor general, the reports came as early as April and not by year-end as in practice today.

Yes, no government is perfect but we should be able to control such an expenditure. No point of telling the public that an agency bought a RM1.70/kg sugar at RM170/kg when it was done 15 months ago.

Christmas is around the corner and New Year 2012 is just about 20 days away. General election will be held possibly early next year and all this will scrutinized by the voters.


Alimor Sipon said...

Better to return than perabih tak tentu hala. In my organization, we have half year budget review - tak cukup ask for addinional, kalau tahu tak boleh spend return the budget/allocation. And budget utilization is one of the department KPI. Low utilization means poor planning - nafsu ada, tenaga dah kurang. Budget/allocation cannot be spent on things you don't plan earlier. So, no issue of nak perabih budget

mat bonet said...


its still in practice. last week, a govt agency in kl held a 1-week seminar for senior staff in genting highland. all this while, they only organised it in kl. there was also lucky draw...

Anonymous said...

that rm170 per kilo sugar could have been stopped had the dept head or the accountant identified the error.

dont tell me nobody realised that uncalled error?

samarinda said...

saya setuju yang audit perlu bermula lebih awal agar laporannya cepat dikeluarkan.

sekarang ni, laporan ketua audit negara cuma dikeluarkan pada bulan oktober atau september (paling awal). ia terlalu mengambil masa.

kalau dimulakan lebih awal, masalah perbelanjaan tidak perlu ni boleh dipantau dan dihentikan.

penangan said...


saya percaya ini masih berlaku walaupun dalam skala yang jauh lebih kecil berbanding dahulu.

cuma pemantauannya perlu lebih cekap.

saya rasa perlu setiap kementerian dan agensi kerajaan diletakkan seorang dua pegawai khas yang tugasnya memantau segala perbelanjaan.

jika ia perlu, maka bolehlah diluluskan.

Anonymous said...

what about that rm60 million to refurbish seri perdana?

isn't that a waste of public money?

clarke gable said...

its normal la bro.

they gave u money, so u must spend. if u dont spend, they will take it back or deduct from next allocation.

to spend, u must pakat with your subordinates. does not matter what u buy as long as your report shows u already spent.

for instance, the health ministry can buy 100 hammers which is of no use to them.... and so are other ministries and agencies.

a single father said...


pls close one eye... and u will be okay!

trust me.

putra merdeka said...

cina tu tak bayau..takde la shopping!

Santa Claus said...

Yes... still practiced by government agencies. Private companies are smiling because Santa's giving them presents although they are being naughty...

Anonymous said...

So who is the real corrupt sekarang ni.?

Pak Menteri ke KSU (yang perasan dia taraf macam menteri?)

Tapi macamana pulak ngan menteri yang hijacked another ministry punya fund atas dasar "keperluan segera"?