Payment delay by the Treasury : Call on the Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy to immediately investigate the cause and to resolve the delay

Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): I have received complaints from government suppliers that since mid December last year, the Melaka Federal Accountant Department (Jabatan Akauntan Negara Cawangan Melaka) has been unable to make payment to them according to the usual time frame of less than 10 days upon their payment vouches being submitted to the Department.

According to the complainants, they have waited patiently since December last year for their payment but till today, they have yet to be informed of the reason as to what has been causing the delay except that the cause of the payment delay is caused by the Treasury.

What worries the suppliers most is not just the delay, which has caused them to delay their payment to their own suppliers, but also the important question as to how long they will have to wait.

Such unusual delay has certainly caused hardship and worries to the suppliers, especially the Chinese suppliers who urgently need the payment as Chinese New Year is just around the corner.

The delay has also a negative impact on the pre Chinese New Year market cash flow and liquidity as the amount withheld by the Treasury is a huge amount, considering the number of suppliers and federal departments affected.

I have been informed that just in Melaka alone, there are more than 150 federal departments.

I have also been told by the complainants that the delay is actually not confined to Melaka only but is a national problem, that is, all the branches of Federal Accountant Department in the country have not been making paying to the suppliers according to the usual time frame since mid December last year.

The usual procedure is for all federal departments, after having received their goods and invoices from the suppliers, to prepare and submit the payment voucher to the Federal Accountant Department in the State. Upon receipt of such vouchers, the Federal Accountant Department will then issue the necessary cheques within ten days.

The long delay since December last year is thus an unusual phenomenon which must be taken seriously. I therefore call on the deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy to immediately investigate the cause of delay and to resolve the matter.

In fact, I had yesterday called up the Director of the Malacca Federal Accountant Department Puan Zaini Ishak.

She said that the delay was caused by the Treasury but did not wish to reveal further details.

Such delay has brought much hardships to the traders and has also created a lot of unnecessary rumours which will erode public confidence in the financial position of the government. Chan Kong Choy must therefore treat this matter as urgent.


* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka