RM10 billion can be saved from leakages if corruption is eradicated
PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia could have saved up to RM10 billion from the leakages that occurred in the government procurement system if corruption is eradicated at all levels.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stressed that steps that needed to be taken included changing the old ways for negotiations without political interference or the interests of certain parties.
"In less than two months at the Finance Ministry, I have identified RM3 to RM4 billion that can be saved, leaked to certain parties and figures.
"We could save maybe RM10 billion from leakages that continued to occur in the procurement system," he said at the 2023 Budget Dialogue Council, today.
He added that corruption was a systemic practice where parties that were at the top earned hundreds of millions of ringgit while those at the bottom gained tens of thousands of ringgit.
"So how do we handle it?.
"I have discussed with the Defence Ministry to determine the method of purchasing weapons in a more professional manner by letting them negotiate without the interests of traders," he said.
He said if any procurement or government allocation were handed over to a party that was able to manage the funds, leakages could be reduced.
"Leave the matter to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and Malaysian Army (TDM) to find the best items without interference," he said.
Anwar said the negative effects of the country's economy have yet to subside and considered dim due to global developments such as the Russia-Ukraine war and post-Covid-19.
Previously, the Finance Minister revealed that there were a lot of frauds occurring at the Finance Ministry when he checked the ministry's files.
In the same speech, Anwar said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections also showed that the economy continued to decline.
"Our challenge is the national debt which has reached almost RM1.2 trillion.
"This is the reality, as there are disputes, statements being changed and if liabilities are included, it would be RM1.5 trillion," he said.
He said the government could no longer "lull" the people's minds with unrealistic matters without seeing the reality.
"That's why we start by giving real numbers," he said.