Reps got the nod on Feb 12 last year

(NST) SHAH ALAM: Almost all applications and vouchers for assemblymen in Selangor for disbursement of their annual allocation were approved on Feb 12 last year, a day before the state assembly and Parliament were dissolved.

This was revealed at the third day of the hearing of the Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) yesterday.

Selcat committee member Mohamed Azmin Ali said the date was a mysterious one as all district offices in the state seemed to have some sort of an agreement to approve the applications and vouchers on that date.

The Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman said there was a possibility that an instruction had come from the state government to the district office to expedite the approval of the assemblymen's applications.

Kuala Selangor assistant district officer Izahar Rasidi did not deny the possibility that his superiors might have received instruction from the state government to expedite the approval and issuance of vouchers to assemblymen.

"However, the almost similar date at all district offices might have just been a coincidence," he told Azmin at the hearing.

The RM500,000 yearly allocation for all five constituencies under the Kuala Selangor district office — Ijok, Melawati, Jeram, Permatang and Sungai Burong — were spent or almost depleted within the first two months of last year.

Izahar said the office only had seven technicians who also had other responsibilities and duties and they did not have time to supervise and ensure that the allocations were used for projects.

Selcat chairman Teng Chang Khim said that the excuse could not be accepted.

Kuala Selangor district officer Mohd Misri Idris said that whether it was right or not for the allocations to be spent in two months was up to the assemblymen as the allocations were for their constituencies.

"We only process applications and disburse payments," he said.