Thursday, July 3, 2008

Case to answer - The Star


The Selangor Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) has found grounds for a case against a former officer with the Mentri Besar’s office in relation to the solicitation of funds for the 100-day-in-office celebrations, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said yesterday.

He told a press conference that state ACA chief Jaafar Mahad conveyed to him on Tuesday there was misuse of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official letterhead.

“As MB, I have to be informed of any use of the official letterhead. In this case, I only found out after the letters (seeking donations) were sent out to companies being approached to contribute towards the state celebrations,” he said.

Khalid said Jaafar also informed him that the same former officer had also used the letterhead to secure cleaning and garbage collection contracts in Petaling Jaya.

The ACA started to investigate the case after former PKR stalwart Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor claimed that the Mentri Besar’s office collected RM200,000 in funds for the celebrations and deposited the cash into the PKR account instead of the state coffers.

On Tuesday, Ezam lodged a report with the state ACA over alleged misuse of power and corruption at the Mentri Besar’s office in soliciting funds for the celebrations.

He handed over to the ACA documents bearing the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official letterhead and the former officer’s name that were used to solicit the funds.

Khalid said the state government’s own inquiry was continuing and the international auditing firm of Ernst & Young had been hired to look through the PKR accounts.

“We will return the money to the companies. We will seek details from these companies on what had transpired.”

When contacted, Jaafar declined to elaborate on Khalid’s statement but said the ACA investigation into the matter was almost over and investigation papers would be handed over to its Prosecution Division for further action.

On June 23, Yahya Sahri, a former senior aide to the Mentri Besar, was suspended by Khalid for two months pending a probe into allegations of misuse of office facilities.

Yahya then resigned, claiming he had lost confidence in the Mentri Besar for suspending him without hearing his side first.

Yesterday, Yahya told a local daily that he wanted to set the record straight and clear his name.

“I did not do anything wrong. It was just a miscommunication and it has led to so many problems,” he said, adding that the “problems” would not have occurred if Khalid had spoken to him directly.

“I am a politician and I have my pride. How can he send me an SMS to say I had been suspended (for two months). Why couldn’t he have called and talked to me. That is why I resigned,” said Yahya, who is a member of the PKR supreme council and also the Selangor PKR state liaison secretary.

No comments: