Selangor MB says no ban on support letters

By Neville Spykerman, The Malaysian Insider

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today state assemblymen and MPs can continue to issue letters of recommendations and support letters despite calls from within Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for it to be done away with.

“We cannot stop it because it’s done in good faith,” said the Selangor mentri besar.

However, he said support letters from elected representatives were not guarantees for obtaining contracts.

“There have been cases where someone had written 10 letters of support but didn’t get anything,” said Khalid.

He said that government contracts were given out based on merit and capability, while strict criteria was used.

Khalid said the issue had been discussed at the state executive council and it was decided that letters of support should be maintained primarily to help those who need welfare and scholarships.

Khalid said the practice of issuing support letters was started by Barisan Nasional (BN).

“It was a sign of power held by assemblymen and MPs then.”

However Khalid’s administration is coming under fire after it emerged that DAP councillor Tee Boon Hock had given a support letter to a company in which his son was a partner.

Tee was sacked by DAP’s disciplinary committee.

Khalid acknowledged that the issuing of letters of support was still a widespread practice by PR.

However some PR lawmakers including DAP’s Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh and  PAS Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib have expressed support for doing away with support letters.