Saturday, April 4, 2009

Khir Toyo and family spent RM1.7m meeting Prince Charming and Cinderella

The Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) concluded its public inquiry into the expenses of the now-defunct Balkis on Wednesday, March 31.

Balkis was the welfare and charity organization set up by the wives of Selangor’s elected representatives during Barisan Nasional (BN) rule. It was hurriedly dissolved after March 8, and RM10m was transferred to Bakti, the charity organization for wives of federal government ministers. The legality of that dissolution and cash transfer is also being questioned, but that’s another issue.

Right now, I am disheartened by the absence of public outrage and mainstream media coverage on the abuse of power and privilege unearthed by the Committee. Consider just a few of the revelations:

1) State investment agency Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) spent almost RM1m on a Dec 2004 Eurodisney trip for then Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, his wife, their three children AND maid;
2) Khir must have hankered for the real thing after seeing the European copy, so off he went to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida, in Jan 2008, just 2 months before historic March 8. Again, his wife, their three children and maid went along. Cost – about RM650,000 for their entire US jaunt.

PNSB CEO Datin Khairiyah Abu Hassan told the Committee that the trips were in preparation for setting up an 8 hectare theme park in Bagan Lalang. A very flimsy reason indeed which collapsed under further questioning when it transpired that Khir and entourage visited Disney as ordinary public guests, there were no meetings with Disney senior executives or technical personnel and no reports were submitted after the trips!

But where is the public outrage, and where is the disciplinary action by UMNO? The very senior UMNO politician has not denied spending RM1.7m of public money on a private family jaunt. RM1.7m is 68 low-cost houses; it can keep nearly 300 families out of hard-core poverty for a year. And that RM1.7m is just one of numerous other infractions. If UMNO is serious about reform, it needs to send a clear message. Abuse of power will not be tolerated. Transgressors will be expelled.

It doesn’t seem to be happening.

Also, what about the other Barisan Nasional coalition members? Silence implies consent, or at the very least, acquiescence.

Ask what politics can do for you and your family, not what you can do for the people sounds like an appropriate BN slogan.


Purple Haze said...

You are quite right. Where is the public outrage and news in the MSM ? Is the MACC going to take this up ?

The evidence is there and minuted.

At least the Sun's Citizen Nades and his fellow investigative reporters have some satisfaction that their work was not for naught.

But is the current MSM not allowed to present the facts of this case ?

HSKoh said...

Is it any surprise this ex-MB got the second highest number of votes in the recent UMNO youth election?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that there is a lack of public outrage. However what irks me even more is that Khir Toyo does not even see it as wrong. In fact, I can further generalize that those in BN believes very sincerely that it is their God-given right to plunder the resources of the nation.

Gone are the days when politicians do what they believe is right for the country. Most politicians these days want to be in politics for the dough and its perks (like using the Rakyat's money to fund their overseas' trips and lavish themselves with gifts). All this has been perpetuated during the long period of Mahathirsm. There is no doubt that in the short to medium term, Mahathir has done well for Malaysia. It has progressed in leaps and bounds under his tutelage and I for one, believe that his tag as Malaysia's No.1 salesman still holds true. However, the means to that end has entrenched corruption and nepotism to its very core. It is now cancerous and is a malignant tumour which needs to be removed. Hence there needs to be a clarion call for change. With such practices and thinking so ingrained in the socio-political culture, such change needs to come in the change of Government as I strongly believe that there is no way that the ruling coalition today can change itself. If you want to be a head-honcho, then you have to be corrupt. Those who are clean will never rise as they would be constantly suppressed by those in the corridors of power. So how is BN ever going to cure itself of this malaise?

Els said...

You are right on. Where is the public outrage. Has there been any response from BN. Seems like BN accecpts such acts as the norm. What a shame! Do we even see any signs of the anti corruption department's reaction to the matter.

This ex-MB scored the 2nd highest number of votes in the recent UMNO youth election can only reflect what values or principles have been imparted to them or are they just being too ignorant. Potentially, from the youths are the future leaders of our nation and so we have great concern for the future of our nation.

Anonymous said...

Delve deeper and you will find more of these junket for our elected officials and senior civil servants. It's a culture inculcated over time and many civil servants are guilty. Hence, no outrage.