Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kayveas: ‘Inquiries waste time and money’

Kayveas: ‘Inquiries waste time and money’
by Maria J. Dass & Humayun Kabir

PETALING JAYA (Sept 23, 2008) : Holding inquiries into the misappropriation of funds and wrong doings in state governments is a waste of time and public funds, says People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M. Kayveas.

"While they may promote accountability and such, what have you seen achieved from inquiries held in the past?" he asked.

"Sure, it causes certain people some degree of public embarrassment, but that’s about it, because to reprimand them, one needs to go through the due process of a court of law," Kayveas said, citing recent inquiries which although drawing a great deal of attention, failed to bring the people named to book.

"What they are proposing is a toothless investigation and inquiry which will result only in exposing the wrongdoing but not bringing the culprits to book."

He was commenting on a report in theSun on Monday which quoted Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim as saying the state government would draft legislation and amend the assembly’s Standing Orders to compel witnesses to testify where there is abuse of power.

Teng had said these were necessary in light of the difficulties faced in getting witnesses in the investigation into the operations of the Wives of Selangor State Assemblymen and MPs Charity and Welfare Organisation (Balkis), which had transferred out about RM10 million of its funds within days after the March 8 general election.

"There are proper legal procedures to follow if one feels there are elements of corruption and criminal breach of trust. One is more than welcome to report the matter to the police and the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)," he said.

Abuse of power now takes place on a daily basis – in the form of sweets for MPs who cross over, free land for schools, free water, RM100 for (poor) families – the giver hoping to remain in power by being popular, Teng added.

In Ipoh, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said the state government is considering Selangor’s move to give its legislature more bite.

"The idea is good and we will discuss it in the weekly state executive council meeting on Wednesday. This will give more power to the state government to investigate allegations of misrule by any political party," he said.

Nizar told reporters this after handing out Hari Raya cakes to personnel of the state’s police, navy, air force and army at his residence yesterday.

Senior exco member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, who was also present, said: "A comprehensive study of the legal implications must be conducted before such measures can be considered."

When contacted, Perak Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan said Perak should adopt Selangor’s initiative because "we are also facing the same problem with Baiduri (the state association of Barisan Nasional assemblymen’s wives)".

In the last Perak State Assembly sitting in June, the Pakatan Rakyat government had raised questions on Baiduri’s activities and RM20,000 of state funds having been given to the association.

Nizar had also said that more funds could have been given to Baiduri, which has a fixed deposit of RM1 million and savings of RM300,000.

He had demanded Baiduri’s financial accounts, and state Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Tajol Rosli Ghazali had said the association would return only the sum given by the state government.

"The ACA or the police cannot investigate Baiduri as we have to prove corruption has occurred. Under the present system, we cannot force witnesses to come forward and testify on Baiduri’s affairs," Sivanesan said.

Newly-elected Selangor Gerakan chairman Kohilan Pillay described the state government’s initiative as moving towards greater transparency and accountability in the state’s administration.

"This will ensure accountability in decision-making and project implementation involving state funds," he said.

Kohilan, however, declined comment on investigations on Balkis, saying "the matter needs to be looked at thoroughly". -- theSun

Updated: 10:44PM Tue, 23 Sep 2008

seals: Till last PRU12 BN was too strong and no tough law was made to punish them by SACK, PRISON, SOCIAL SERVICE like SWEEP THE ROAD etc. It is time to change. Inquiries has to be done and followed with a police reports.

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