Umno wants MACC to take over Selangor support letters probe

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal and Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 – Umno lawmakers demanded today that the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government hand over investigations into the alleged abuse of endorsement letters by two Klang municipal councillors to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

They claimed that MACC needed to take over the probe for the sake of “transparency”, expressing doubts about whether the state government under Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim would be able to conduct investigations in a fair and impartial manner.

Selangor state Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo accused the Selangor government of trying to “cover up” by not referring axed Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock’s case to the MACC.

“The Selangor government is not taking action,” said Dr Khir. They should refer it (Tee Boon Hock’s case) to MACC because it involves public funds. They are trying to divert the issue by taking internal action,” said the former Selangor mentri besar.

Dr Khir told The Malaysian Insider that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties were biased when it came to taking action against one of their own, stressing that comparatively Barisan Nasional (BN) had always taken stern and appropriate measures when it came to disciplining party members.

“In BN (Barisan Nasional), those accused of abusing their position and power would be referred to MACC. If MACC charges them in court and they are found guilty, then Umno and BN will remove them from the party.

“DAP takes internal action first, and then lets them free,” said Dr Khir, referring to D’s recent move in sacking Tee when it emerged that he had issued a support letter for a company where his son was director.

He added that the state government should also suspend the state executive councillor in charge of officers accused of wrongdoing during ongoing investigations.

“If you do not suspend, the exco can call the officer to hide the support letters,” said Dr Khir.

Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin insisted that the investigations against Tee and another Klang Municipal (MPK) councillor Hamidah Mat Sum needed to be done through a “legal and judicial process” and that the matter cannot be resolved “internally” by the Khalid administration.

“We are talking about issues of governance here. This matter needs to be brought through a legal and judicial process. Unless the MACC gets involved, there is a real possibility of matters being swept under the carpet,” Khairy told The Malaysian Insider.

The Rembau MP said that the Selangor government’s efforts were not enough to ensure transparency, despite Khalid’s move yesterday in sacking Tee.

“Internal investigations are definitely not enough. MACC needs to be included, we do not know what to expect, we are not sure how transparent the process is, we don’t know how effective it is,” added Khairy.

Umno’s remarks come shortly after the Selangor MB’s sacking of Tee yesterday due to a “conflict of interest”.

Tee has been at the centre of a row over the issuance of endorsement letters by either elected representatives or appointed councillors for government contracts.

He was also recently sacked by the DAP when it emerged that he has issued a support letter for a company where his son was director.

The state government’s decision was effective on August 6 and had been communicated to the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president for further action.

Selangor is also investigating allegations against Klang Municipal (MPK) councillor Hamidah Mat Sum for issuing support letters for her husband’s business.

The allegations against the PKR councillor was raised yesterday by Kapar MCA division chief Datuk Song Kee Chai.

Song claimed the two-term municipal  councillor had issued between four or five letters since 2009 to help her husband, Jan Sakimah, to secure contracts from the MPK.