Selangor threatens to sue state ROS, Balkis

By Yong Min Wei (The Edge)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Selangor state government has threatened to sue the Selangor Registrar of Societies (ROS) as well as the former trustees and former members of the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis).

A statement from the Selangor Menteri Besar’s Office yesterday said it would proceed to sue the ROS if it did not reverse its earlier decision to dissolve Balkis.

“The Selangor Registrar of Society should have taken into consideration (views of) the parties that made contribution to Balkis, which included the state government and its subsidiaries before dissolving Balkis ,” Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement yesterday.

He also said the state government had sent a letter to the Department of Insolvency of Malaysia on Monday to seek clarification on the status of a RM9.9 million fund belonging to Balkis.

The state's Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) was told during an inquiry into Balkis case last week that the RM9.9 million was in the hands of the department.

Selcat, which is headed by Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim, was tasked with probing the Balkis controversy. Khalid said the legal firm, Messrs Fernandez & Selvarajah, had been appointed to represent the state government in the case.

The Balkis controversy surfaced after Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lodged a report with the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) last May over allegations of abused of power involving the transfer of RM9.9 million from the organisation's accounts to Bakti, a similar organisation to Balkis at the federal level.

Bakti had then subsequently said it did not have the money.

Balkis' external auditor had claimed that they were not consulted before the organisation transferred the money out of its account and that its financial statements for the year ended Dec 31, 2007 was not audited.

The external auditor Yee Choon Kong & Co's principal, Yee Choon Kong, had said prior to the transfer, the firm was not consulted by Balkis president Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik, or any of its executive committee member or by former menteri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Balkis had applied to the ROS to dissolve the organisation three days after the March 8 general election last year.

The Balkis controversy came to its head at the recent Selcat enquiry, from which, among other things, emerged allegations of excessive expenses incurred by Khir and his family members on overseas trips.

Selcat had called 11 witnesses, including Khir and his wife Zahrah, to testify during the inquiry from March 23 to 31, 2009.

Khir and Zaharah did not attend the inquiry, prompting Teng to say that the former menteri besar could be suspended from the state assembly while his wife could face possible police action.

Khir had blamed the Balkis controversy and the damaging Selcat hearings for his failure in securing the Umno Youth presidency, which was won by Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.