Mara to tighten money flows & financial discipline
Focus Malaysia 08 Feb 2019 17:13
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) is tightening control of money flows in and out of the organisation.

Dr Hasnita Hashim, in her first media interview since taking over as chairman last October, tells FocusM that Mara is setting up new committees to ensure proper oversight of its money flows. It is also pushing for a more independent council and ensuring that Mara is utilised as a vehicle to provide underserved Bumiputera upward social mobility.

In Budget 2019, the government allocated RM3.75 bil to Mara, the country’s largest statutory body. Of course, managing such a mammoth organisation and funds requires tight oversight.

“The first thing I look at is financial discipline. We want to ensure that whatever we do is cost effective, every dollar is accounted for, creates a multiplier effect and that financial reporting is clear and there is financial discipline in terms of the decision-making process,” she says.

“Whenever we decide to do something, there has to be a rationale. Why are we doing this? This includes the numbers. I am not going to make a decision without the numbers. We don’t want to go down that path of wasting money. So, I hope we can save taxpayers & money by using every tax dollar effectively for the benefit of the people,”

On internal controls, Hasnita says there is a need to have the right policies and procedures. “Mara is not bad in terms of its policies and procedures. It's quite sound but the problem is when it becomes too widespread. Overseeing an entity as large as Mara is quite a big task. So internal controls are very important.

“You need to have the right framework, the right risk framework, the right investment framework, and have a strategy at the top which can cascade down to the bottom.”

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