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Mohamad Khir Toyo was the Mentri Besar for 2 terms. The people of Selangor must thank their lucky stars his reign has ended, otherwise, he would continue to rape and pillage the resources of the rich state and may eventually call it an extension to his home state in Indonesia. After reading Nadeswaran, and being made aware of ‘Learn Toyo’s Economics in 24 hours’, I am still perplexed why Mahathir chose a dentist to run the state. A dentist who insists money must be put in coffins – yes the Tamils drop coins inside the coffin, but this is in a ceremony to appease the dead. Continue reading and tell me, is not 24 hours a bit too long a period to understand Toyol’s economics. Wish you luck in learning something new.

It’s ‘our’ money, not yours
R. Nadeswaran

TWENTY-EIGHT days before Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo was unseated as Selangor mentri besar, he asserted that the Selangor Economic Development Corporation (PKNS) was a private company and that its money and assets do not belong to the people.

At a pow-wow over lunch with this writer and his colleagues, he charged: “You wrote that the fine paid by PKNS was people’s money. No, PKNS is a private company.” (For the record, PKNS was imposed fines totalling RM330,000 for illegal clearing of land around the Bukit Cahaya Agricultural Park and at all material times, Mohd Khir was its chairman.)

Then he made a remarkable statement: “The fine goes back to the state coffin! (I’m sure he meant “coffers” but those at the lunch looked stunned when he used the word a second time). The money comes back to us.” Not wanting to argue with someone who has little knowledge of where the fines imposed by a court of justice end up and not wanting to give him a free lesson in financial procedures, I reserved my comments.

Today, PKNS is in the news again. Here’s a summary of what it paid out to Balkis, the organisation of wives of state assemblymen and MPs in Selangor.

• RM218,719 for the opening ceremony of Komplex Wawasan Balkis;

• RM200,000 for the Balkis dinner;

• RM10,000 for a table at the same dinner; and

• RM161,660 for programmes organised by Balkis.

If you thought that people’s money – not a private company’s money as Mohamad Khir sees it – was being handed out like candy, PKNS also sold 43,560 sq ft of land in Section 7 in Shah Alam at RM5.74 per sq ft – a bargain whichever way you look at it.

But no money changed hands. A contra deal for amount payable – RM250,000 – was made. The amount was off-set as a loan from PKNS to the state government and this was duly endorsed at the meeting of the State Financial Committee on Oct 19, 2000. Has this loan been settled?

And the deal was between PKNS and the state government. How did Balkis come into the picture?

Balkis for all intent and purposes was an organisation that received funds and other forms of financial help from the state government. The mentri besar’s wife occupies the seat of the president and the members of the committee are elected among the wives.

Just like Mohamad Khir deemed PKNS a private entity, his wife Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik saw Balkis as a “sendirian berhad”. How else could she call for a meeting and dissolve the organisation and transfer funds running into millions?

Doesn’t the constitution say that the president should be the mentri besar’s wife? As of March 9, her hubby was no longer the mentri besar and therefore, she automatically relinquishes her post. But no, giving up power and influence does not come easy.

Leaving that issue aside, where else did our money, (oops! PKNS money as Mohamad Khir sees it) end up? Special number plates for its officers, for one. Should the people pay for their employees to drive around in cars with fancy number plates? It can be argued that this exercise involved a few thousand ringgit, but it’s the principle that matters.

On a larger scale, PKNS built what was termed as a public golf course, which has since been privatised. Since it was built with people’s money running into millions, why should the rakyat pay commercial rates at the Seri Selangor Golf Club? Were open tenders called for the privatisation deal or was it handed on a platter to some uncle or brother-in-law’s sister’s son?

What about the joint-venture deals and other questionable agreements which could have committed us? Shouldn’t we, the rakyat be entitled to know? Or should we remain silent with folded arms as those who raped and plundered the state coffers get away scot-free?

That is why there is a dire need for accountability and transparency in all matters involving public money. Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has done the right thing by ordering an audit of Balkis, but what about the state-owned companies and agencies, who are flaunting our money as if it is theirs?

The goings-on within Balkis are just the small fish that’s visible on the surface in shallow waters. Deep down, there are even bigger ones who have used our money without having to account for it and even stolen our money. Shouldn’t these thieves be brought to book? Shouldn’t we file civil suits to recover what rightfully belongs to us?

Abdul Khalid, on taking office, promised reports every quarter or 100 days. The clock is ticking, and by the end of next month, can we expect that report and see a few heads roll?

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One Comment

  1. I seconded the call for the report!


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