SHAH ALAM, 17 March 2009: The former president of the Wives of Selangor Elected Representatives’ Welfare Association (Balkis) is among 11 witnesses to be called up to give statements in the public hearing on sponsorship funds channelled to the body.
Besides Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik, her husband Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, who was the former Selangor menteri besar, would also be called up to give statements to the Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat).
Selcat is expected to meet from 23 to 31 March.
Selcat chairperson Teng Chang Khim said Mohamad Khir, Zaharah and nine others would be called up to give statements on the sponsorship received by Balkis from the state government’s subsidiary companies and the private sector.
Stern action would be imposed on all the 11 witnesses concerned if they failed to attend the public hearing as a notice ordering them to be present had been issued earlier, he said at a media conference after the state assembly sitting which ended today.
Teng, who is also the state assembly speaker, said witnesses who failed to turn up could be jailed up to 12 months or fined not more than RM3,000 under Section 3 of the House Contempt Enactment 2008.
If the witness is a state assemblyperson, he or she can be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee of the state assembly which enables disciplinary action to be taken, including suspension of the assemblyperson’s post.
“The session is not to determine who is right or wrong. On the contrary, all the witnesses are being called up to give clarifications to assist Selcat in determining what are the policies and guidelines of the companies and state government subsidiaries in giving sponsorships to Balkis.
“Subsequently, a report will be tabled to the state legislative assembly and if it is detected that there are elements of malpractices, a police report will be lodged,” he said.
Teng said all the 11 witnesses called up would be given protection under the Selangor state constitution and since the investigation was initiated in May, all statements from the witnesses had been recorded.
The investigation involved three state government subsidiary companies and several private companies, he said.
The public hearing is being held at the Operations Room, Dewan Annex, here beginning at 10am and it is open to the public.
Besides Teng, other members of the Selcat are four state assemblypersons from the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat comprising Taman Medan Assemblyman, Haniza Mohd Talha; Saari Sungib (Hulu Kelang), Mohamad Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa), Edward Lee (Bukit Gasing) and two Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblypersons namely Ismail Sani (Dusun Tua) and Sulaiman Abdul Razak (Permatang). — Bernama