S'wak DAP: No checks and balances if CM also finance minister

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem should not also hold the finance minister portfolio in the state Cabinet as it will bypass the checks and balances on cabinet spending, warned DAP Sarawak chairperson Chong Chieng Jen.

"It is never a healthy democratic practice to have both the chief minister and finance minister post held by one single person.

"The role of a finance minister is always to provide a check and control within the Cabinet on the spending by the Cabinet.

"With the chief minister post and finance minister post held by one person, such internal control mechanism is removed," Chong said in a statement today.

He pointed out that the most obvious example of such a practice causing damage to the country is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is both prime minister and the federal finance minister.

"To have one person holding both the portfolios is to open oneself to abuse of power and even corruption," Chong said.

Najib has been the subject of several financial scandals since last year, involving troubled state fund 1Malaysia Developmetn Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal accounts.

The prime minister has consistently denied all wrongdoing and claimed that the RM2.6 billion was a political donation from the Middle East.

This was corroborated by attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, who said the donation came from Saudi Arabia, when he cleared Najib earlier this year.

Several international investigations are still ongoing into 1MDB.

Going back to the topic of Adenan and his posts in the Sarawak state cabinet, Chong said that this case is even worse because Adenan is also holding the First Resource Planning and Environment Minister post.

He pointed out that this post controls the forest and land resources, the two largest and richest natural resources of the state.

"All the three most powerful ministries are held by one person, Adenan. This is surely not what right-thinking Sarawakians want to see.

"If Adenan truly wants to implement a more transparent system in his administration, he should not be holding all these three most powerful portfolios," Chong said.-Malaysiakini

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