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Thursday October 30, 2008

Selangor probing past ‘irregularities’

SHAH ALAM: The state government will investigate several alleged irregularities by the Selangor State Development Corporation, including a RM100,000 gift to former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo as a bonus.

Executive committee member Ronnie Liu said a special investigative team which was set up for the purpose would probe how certain senior officers of the corporation were holding 30% shares in a subsidiary.

He said the probe would also include how the corporation had been awarding 75% of projects to non-bumiputra firms.

In an immediate response, Anti-Corruption Agency director of investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul welcomed the move, saying that the agency would see if there was a case to investigate.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said on Monday that checks found that 75% of the corporation’s projects in the past were awarded direct or indirectly to non-bumiputra firms.

He also said that the state government had appointed a non-Malay as the corporation’s acting general manager because several other senior officers were found to have shares in subsidiaries, which resulted in a conflict of interest.

Liu said it was wrong for Dr Khir to take the bonus from corporation which was set up to help the needy.

“It is surprising to see a Mentri Besar, as a chairman of the corporation, accepting the so-called bonus,” he said.

Liu said Dr Khir should return the money to the corporation.

“We are still collecting evidence of the alleged wrongdoings,” he said, adding that the state government would hand its findings to the ACA.

Other irregularities, he added, included the alleged award of prime land to private companies.

Liu also revealed that Selangor government-linked companies lost an estimated RM30bil over the years due to improper planning and lopsided contracts.

The losses did not take into account lost opportunities.

Citing an example, Liu said that in 2007, the state government only collected RM17mil revenue from sand mining instead of the RM170mil which it was supposed to get.

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