The Star Online > Nation Sunday April 27, 2008
Return cash, Khir's wife told
SHAH ALAM: Give back the RM9.9mil, withdraw the application to dissolve the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis) and the matter is settled.
This is Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's offer to Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik who was the organisation's head when she and the other members decided to transfer the RM9.9mil from its coffers after Barisan Nasional lost the state during the March general election.
Open call: Salbiah (seated centre) speaking to the press, accompanied by (seated from left) deputy state Speaker Haniza Talha and state exco members Rodziah Ismail, Kok and Elizabeth Wong. Standing are assemblyman for Rawang Gan Pei Nei and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamarudin.
The group also decided to dissolve the organisation.
Khalid said his offer was the best solution to resolve the controversy.
“If not, the state will pursue the matter because the people want us to be correct. If there has been misconduct, then justice will take its course,” he told reporters yesterday.
The issue blew up when it was revealed that Balkis, lead by Zahrah, who is the wife of former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, transferred RM9.9mil to the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) three days after the state fell to Pakatan Rakyat.
Zahrah said she had had legal advice on the matter and did it to prevent the funds from falling into the hands of the new government.
Khir was quoted as saying they were worried that the money, which was raised for the welfare of children, would not be used for the correct purpose.
In an immediate response yesterday, Zahrah said the current state government should contact Bakti since the RM9.9mil was in its hands. As for revoking the dissolution of Balkis, she said the state government could pursue the matter with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
“Every step of the way, from holding the emergency meeting on March 11 to transferring the money to Bakti as a donation, we sought the advice of our lawyers because we wanted to be legally correct in what we did,” said Zahrah.
Dr Khir said Zahrah and Balkis were open to any investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency, the ROS or any other party because “they have nothing to hide”.
“It is not as if Zahrah planned the whole thing. On March 11, when she held the emergency meeting, it was the members who called for Balkis to be dissolved.
“It was also the members who unanimously decided for the RM9.9mil to be donated to Bakti,” he said.
Earlier yesterday, Khalid’s wife Puan Sri Salbiah Tunut said she should be Balkis president as she was the Mentri Besar’s wife.
“We are ready to continue with the good work of Balkis for single mothers, underprivileged children and other needy groups,” she said during a press conference at the Mentri Besar’s official residence in Section 7 here.
She also questioned the legality of Zahrah's actions.
Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok said there was suspicion that the emergency meeting on March 11 was not conducted legally.