MB dismisses sand-mining allegations

(Selangor Times) – Selangor described controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s alleged scandal in the sand-mining industry as “old stories” on Monday.

“The stories that he has broken are old stories (cerita-cerita lama),” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim after attending Selangor government departments monthly assembly at Dewan Jubli Perak.

He said the state had taken several steps, including inviting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to station their officers at sand-mining concessionaire Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB)’s offices.

“(This is so that) they can monitor the goings-on in the company,” said Khalid.

In addition, he said the state requested watchdog Transparency International Malaysia to recommend independent professionals to sit on the board of directors of KSSB.

KSSB’s accounts are also audited more often to ensure further accountability and transparency within the state-owned company.

“We welcome any public scrutiny,” said Khalid.

Raja Petra had published an article in his Malaysia Today website on Feb 9 accusing two PKR elected representatives of colluding with contractor Double Dignity to secure a sand-mining contract in Dengkil.

However, KSSB clarified on the same day that it does not have any dealings with Double Dignity.

It said it had never received any application from Double Dignity to carry out any sand-mining activities in Selangor.

The two state lawmakers – Sri Muda assemblyperson Shuhaimi Shafiei and Batu Caves assemblyperson Amirudin Shari – have also denied the allegations.

Shuhaimi dismissed Raja Petra’s accusations as a “spin doctor’s work”, while Amirudin said he does not have executive power to influence any state authority to approve projects.