Message from the Chairman

Message from Chairman of ASOSAI

Message from Tan Sri Dr. Madinah Mohamad, Auditor General of Malaysia and Chairperson of ASOSAI


Dear ASOSAI Journal Members and Readers,

It is becoming highly imperative to all of us the need to delicately balance the world’s rapid growth and development with the environment. The fact remains that the world’s population has increased exponentially in line with the economic expansion and industrial revolution which has significantly impacted the environment. Activities such as unsustainable deforestation activities, illegal logging and forest open burning may worsen the environment by increasing the air pollution index reading and contribute to swift climate changes.

Auditors could contribute through environmental audit whether or not a systematic approach of environmental management and risks management is implemented. It is therefore crucial for SAls to provide full cooperation and commitment in ensuring all sustainable development goals (SDGs) and targets are successfully aligned with their national agenda and fully implemented.

The United Nations Agenda 2030 on SDGs has realigned the importance of sustaining the environment for the future through several goals introduced and I believe SAls will be giving due attention to this matter throughout the years.

By adopting the environment friendly approach to development, we need to appreciate and understand that activities or programmes implemented by SAls’ governments are moving towards the environmental friendly activities and to avoid conflict between development and environment. These issues need to be addressed systematically where attention should be given to immediate disputes as well as the underlying structural causes of conflict; improved coordination amongst diverse actors engaged; increased likelihood that small disputes can be brought to a conclusion before they escalate to more serious conflicts; greater contribution to good governance, rule of law and the achievement of a wide range of social, economic and peace-building objectives.

Generally, all SAls could indeed assume dynamic roles in the monitoring activities by auditing the extent of exploitation of natural resources in SAls member countries and work closely with ASOSAI, INTOSAI and development partners. We should collate information on countries’ baseline to implement, follow-up and review the environmental audit and produce a national report. Education and training in environmental audit are deemed vital in order to build SAls’ capacities and to potentially audit this area of significance that requires technical competencies.
Performance environmental audit will be crucial to assess the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the activities.

The 2030 United Nations Agenda on Sustainable Development explicitly recognises the importance of sustainable and efficient management of natural resources to support inclusive economic and social development as well as the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most of the 17 SDGs promote human well-being through sustainable use of natural resources and can be achieved only if consumption for natural resources are efficiently utilised. These goals must be pursued simultaneously with and as vigorously as those goals which are concerned with economic and social improvements.

It is critical to restore and maintain the natural resources base for a better quality of life in years to come. The audit on the exploitation of natural resources will ensure prudent management, restoration and conservation of natural resources. In relation to SDGs, this is a very challenging auditing task given the complexity and interrelated aspects of natural resource governance, legal and fiscal framework, environmental risks and impact assessment measurement. Regional cooperation is required to address the gaps in financial, technological and institutional capacities of the ASOSAI members in conducting the audit.

ASOSAI has indicated strong support to the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As for Malaysia, the country’s preparedness to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be over approximately in two years’ time, by Year 2020. The audit on the implementation of the SDG, in this context is the environmental audit or audit of natural resources with whole of government approach, should be carried out in an efficient and effective manner when the fundamental issues are addressed accordingly from the initial stage of SDGs implementation. At the forefront, the envisaged challenges concerning SAls’ mandates on sharing and publicising the reports, as well as coordinating the results with the underlying resources needed for report preparation should be uppermost.

I hope this edition of ASOSAI journal will serve as a reminder of our serious contribution and concern on the environmental issues. Hopefully, the articles provided in this journal would help all readers to enhance knowledge repository and contribute to the future research for the benefit of our nations and the Asian region.