Thursday, March 12, 2009

Unaccounted car downpayments and car used by KDEB chairman's wife - Sun

By Maria J. Dass and Karen Arukesamy

SHAH ALAM (March 12, 2009) : Two Mercedes Benz cars bought by Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) prior to the 12th general election were never delivered while a Range Rover bought for site visits by the company’s subsidiary, was used by the KDEB chairman’s wife.

These were among the matters raised at the Selangor State Assembly by Saari Sungib (Pas-Hulu Kelang) during his debate on the royal address to highlight discrepancies in the dealings of state-owned companies.

He said the state should check on the purchase of the Mercedes S500 worth RM1.5 million for the then KDEB chairman, and a Mercedes S350 worth almost RM1 million for its executive president.

Saari said the total purchase was about RM2.5 million and a 40% downpayment or about RM1 million was paid to Cycle and Carriage.

“Then after the election, the scenario changed; Now we do not know where the RM1 million downpayment has gone and both cars were never delivered,” he said.

The Mentri Besar should check on this and find out what happened as it is the right of the rakyat to know, he said.

Saari also revealed that Cekal Tulen, a company dealing with land development which is also a subsidiary of KDEB (51% share), bought a Range Rover worth RM500,000 to be used for site visits.

However, the car was then given to the KDEB chairman’s wife for her personal use.

“How could this happen? What kind of corporate governance is this?” Saari asked.

He also touched on the Al-Maruwah tower apartment dealings in Makkah, questioning the process of dealings pertaining to the purchase of two units of the apartment by KDEB.

He said the apartment was bought and a down payment of RM800,000 paid for by an individual before a circular was issued to approve the purchase.

Saari also alleged that the state water restructuring efforts are being sabotaged from within the concession companies in which some Umno leaders held shares.

Citing an instance, he said Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor holds 55% of the shares in one of the companies while Koperasi Murni owns 45%.

“The minority shareholder is becoming stronger and we found out why they do not want to help Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor to accept the state government’s offer to buy the water assets,” Saari said.

“We found out that Senator Datuk Ikhwan Salim Sujak, the head of the PJ Utara Umno branch and Subahan Ismail, also a branch leader, both have shares in Koperasi Murni and this shows there are efforts to sabotage the state’s water restructuring efforts,” he said, referring to the plans by Selangor to acquire the water entities in the state to slash tariffs.

Saari said the Mentri Besar should look into these cases and ensure good governance and transparency is practised by all state-held companies in the future.

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