Sarawak’s financial health in tip-top shape, says Wong

Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh

KUCHING, July 17: Sarawak registered its 16th consecutive year of obtaining a clean certificate on unqualified reports for its financial accounts for the year ended 2017.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said the state’s commendable investment credit ratings had also been reaffirmed at A3 and A- by international rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poors.

In his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today, Wong said these achievements were good testimonies and clear reflections of the state’s sound financial prudence and discipline at all levels.

“Despite our achievements thus far, we will continue to strengthen strategic financial management by benchmarking and adopting best practices on technology advancements as well as building capacity to achieve excellent and good governance.

“These efforts will further harness the long-term benefits of cost effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and value to all stakeholders,” he said.

In view of the current global economic challenges, Wong opined that it was crucial for everyone to exercise effective leadership to ensure prudent and responsible financial management towards a resilient economy for a better future.

Meanwhile, in 2017, the state’s economy benefited from the cyclical upswing in the global economy, which accelerated the growth in external demand.

Wong said the state’s economy grew at 4.7 per cent, exceeding the earlier projected growth of 4 per cent. For 2018, the state economy is expected to grow between 4 and 4.5 per cent.

The state also registered total revenue of RM6.865 billion in 2017, as compared to RM5.910 billion in 2016.

“The increase in revenue of RM954 million (16 per cent) was mainly due to higher receipts from dividends from investments, cash compensation in lieu of oil and gas rights and state sales tax on crude palm oil,” he said. — DayakDaily