English, Govt, KBS

Govt pledges transparency over 2017 KL SEA Games accounts

PETALING JAYA: The government has given an assurance it will be transparent with the long-awaited accounts of the KL SEA Games held in August 2017.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim today explained that the delay was a result of an external audit being carried out by the finance ministry.

It followed an internal audit of the accounts by the youth and sports ministry, he told FMT.

“The request came from the finance ministry. The external audit is a good governance measure, as the Games involved a large sum of money,” Sim said.

Asked when the external audit will be completed, Sim said the ministry’s stand was to expedite the audit.

“This is a legacy issue. We want closure as well. We will definitely expedite it,” he said.

He said that once the audit was completed and the accounts closed, the government would “definitely be transparent and report to the public”.

“I am all for the accounts to be made public,” he said.

Sim, who is also the Bukit Mertajam MP, was not able to confirm if the accounts would be closed before the Manila SEA Games in November.

“We will do our best to get it out as soon as possible,” he said.

Under the 2017 Budget, some RM450 million had been allocated to host the KL SEA Games and Asean Para Games.

It was reported the ministry had collected RM100 million from over 300 sponsors.

The ministry’s chief secretary, Lokman Hakim Ali, had said in December 2017 the accounts for hosting both the Games, held in August and September, respectively, were not closed yet because there were many processes that needed to be finalised.

“These processes involve various procedures and we can’t just close the accounts just like that,” he was quoted as saying.

“Factors that have to be processed and considered are payments, assets, asset accumulation, digitising records and much more.”

Lokman also said the accounts for both Games could only be closed a year after they were held – by August and September last year.

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