20 10月 Introduce Fiscal Responsibility Act to ensure spending of public funds are aptly accounted for
Press statement by MCA Spokesperson Saw Yee Fung
Introduce Fiscal Responsibility Act to ensure spending of public funds are aptly accounted for
To ensure that our nation’s economy is on the correct path of recovery whereby every sen is spent appropriately, accordingly and to avoid unnecessary wastages, MCA is in full support of the government’s proposal to introduce the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).
Since 2020, in view of the impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic in the past 2 years, our nation could only adopt a limited expansionary budget plan to revitalise the economy and help the masses overcome financial difficulties by increasing the people’s disposable income.
Although Malaysia’s economic recovery has returned to the right track, it has been enduring aggressive interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve as well as global instability. Therefore, Budget 2023 as tabled in the Dewan Rakyat may only maintain a limited expansionary budget.
An expansionary fiscal policy is necessary in this environment, but it cannot ignore the government’s responsibility to ensure sustainability of the Budget.
The main objective of fiscal sustainability is to provide a country with macroeconomic stability to keep its budget deficit and public debt within sustainable limits.
In these circumstances, we desperately need this FRA to meet future challenges by reducing wasteful public spending.
The FRA is also part of the fiscal reforms. Under this law, it will also help our country carry out pension, tax and subsidy reforms, formulate strategies to increase medium-term income, and monetise assets.
In tabling Budget 2023 on 7 Oct 2022, Finance Minister Dato’ Seri Tengku Zafrul disclosed that if no unexpected events occur, the Fiscal Responsibility Act may be introduced in this Parliamentary session.
This Bill will help improve transparency and accountability of our nation’s financial management. The government’s cooperation with the World Bank to review our country’s public spending will, to a certain extent, ensure that our country’s public expenditures are more efficient, avoid wastages, and do not affect the public delivery system.
Fiscal responsibility legislations are not new and have been adopted by many countries around the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria and Thailand.
I also hope that Pakatan Harapan MPs will support this Bill. After all, as early as 2018, Pakatan Harapan Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that Pakatan Harapan would introduce this Bill in 2021.
Irrespective of political affiliation, for the well-being and future development of the country, we should, prioritise the interests of the country and the people first, and jointly promote this Bill, so that the government would be able to pass it smoothly in Parliament after it is introduced.