IPOH, 27 March 2009: The Perak Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended an immediate freeze of the salary, allowances and basic facilities of Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and six state executive councillors.
PAC chairperson Wong Kah Woh, who announced this at a news conference today, also said that the PAC had decided as invalid the appointment of three advisers to the menteri besar as well as a state information chief.
Wong, who is the DAP elected representative for Canning, said the freeze was necessary because the Barisan Nasional (BN) had declared a new state government while the opposition alliance of DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and PAS insisted that it was the legitimate state government led by Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the menteri besar.
He said the PAC had all along emphasised that it had no authority pertaining to the validation of the legitimate government but was only concerned with who was eligible to receive salary, allowances and basic facilities as it involved public funds.
“The decision will be conveyed to all the relevant authorities for implementation and the PAC will make available a report on the matter for the consideration and approval of the state assembly.
“We have also warned the relevant government staff to abide by directives to avoid facing action,” he said at the news conference held at the State Secretariat building, here.
On the appointment of the advisers — Datuk Chang Ko Youn (Chinese Community Affairs), Datuk S Veerasingam (Indian Community Affairs), Datuk Mohd Najmuddin Elias (Islamic Affairs) —as well as Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar (state information chief), he said there was no necessity for the posts because the government would obtain advice from the relevant government departments.
He said the PAC had instructed State Secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim to immediately clear out the four offices used by these people and withdraw all facilities, including the official car if they had been given one.
“The administrative officers provided for Datuk Chang Ko Youn and Datuk Veerasingam are also invalid and that appointment also involves public funds,” he said.
Wong said the PAC felt that if the four people insisted on carrying on with their advisory service, they should do so from premises other than the State Secretariat building without using facilities involving public funds.
The PAC, which has met four times, on 27 Feb, and on 5, 13 and 26 March, had called nine witnesses to resolve the issue of salaries, allowances and basic facilities as well as the appointment of the three advisers and information chief by Zambry.
Those called were Zambry, Dr Abdul Rahman, State Financial Officer Datuk Jamaluddin Al Amini, State Legal Adviser Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, Chang, Veerasingam, Hamdi, Datuk (Capt) Najmuddin Elias and former menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Wong said.
Of these, only Jamaluddin, Ahmad Kamal and Mohammad Nizar had come forward to give their testimony, views and clarification, he added. — Bernama