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Friday, March 27, 2009

Khir Toyo faces assembly ban over Balkis case

SHAH ALAM, March 27 – malaysianinsider | By Neville Spykerman

Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo could be banned from the Selangor assembly while his wife faces possible police action for not attending the Balkis inquiry.

State speaker Teng Chang Khim said both are in contempt of the State Assembly when they failed to attend the Select Committee for Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) inquiry into Balkis, a charity set up by the former Barisan Nasional state government for their wives.

“It’s the Legislative Assembly which established Selcat and action can be taken against Dr Khir, who is a member of the Assembly, while his wife is liable for criminal action under Section 3 of the Contempt of the House Enactment 2008,” Teng said today.

Teng disclosed that any member of Selcat can refer the former Selangor Menteri Besar to the Privilege Committee while the Selcat secretary may lodge the police report against Zahrah.

“It will then be the responsibility of the police to conduct investigations and refer the report to the Attorney General (AG) Chambers to determine if she should be charged, in court.”

Teng said by convention, Dr Khir can be suspended, without pay from the Assembly.

On Monday, solicitors representing Dr Khir and Zahrah, sent letters informing the committee they would not be attending the public inquiry because Selcat did not have “certification” from the AG.

Teng said Dr Khir was ignorant of the state Constitution and Standing Orders which is the basis of the establishment of the Selcat.

“Selcat does not need certification because the State Assembly is a legislature and does not come under the supervision of the AG.”

Teng added no Barisan Nasional assemblyman, including Dr Khir had apposed the motion to establish Selcat when it was tabled in the state assembly last year.

“In fact, two Barisan Nasional members in Selcat had taken part in meetings and were in attendance on the first day of the public inquiry.”

In the inquiry today, Selangor Registrar of Society (ROS) deputy registrar Yunos Jamil admitted Balkis accounts were not audited by authorised auditors, when he supported an application to dissolve the charity.

Upon checking the accounts of the charity,which was submitted with the application to dissolve the Balkis, Yunos told the Selcat the accounts, were not signed by any auditor.

However in his earlier testimony, Yunos had said audited accounts were necessary before any society could be dissolved and he was satisfied that Balkis had fulfilled all requirements.

Yunos was at a loss to explained the discrepancy, which he described as an oversight, and argued that nothing could be done because the decision to dissolve Balkis was made by a minister, in Putrajaya.

But Teng pointed out that it was an offence for any one to submit fraudulent reports to the ROS under the Societies Act.

However, Yunos maintained his department was powerless to act.

Yunos also testified that Balkis had almost RM10 million in cash when it was dissolved but did not have a list of its other assets.

He is due to return before the Selcat on Monday.

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