Khir Toyo should be ashamed of his
defence for the exco bungalows
by Teng Chang Khim
(Klang, Thursday): The Selangor Menteri, Dato Seri Khir Toyo should be ashamed of his defence for the 10 exco’s bungalows.
He claimed that the costs of the 10 exco’s bungalows was approved by the Selangor state assembly in 2001 when in fact there was no such allocation specifically approved for the official residence for the exco members. The budget approved then was for the construction of the quarters for civil servants. If the sum approved or part of it was actually meant for the exco members’ official residence, then it was wilfully concealed from the state assembly.
I was surprised that Khir could not even do a simple calculation on the financial efficacy in the matter. Khir had said that after the exco members move into the bungalows, the state government will save on the monthly housing of RM1,000.00 for the exco members. However, simple calculation will show that if all the 10 exco members moved into the bungalows, then the government will save only RM10,000.00 a month and RM120,000.00 a year. It takes 10 years to save RM1.2 million and 300 years to reach RM36 million to be close to the RM40 million estimated costs! Meanwhile, the state government will still have to fork out a substantial public fund to maintain the bungalows, furniture, fitting, swimming pools and club house facilities every month. This is a classic case of “penny wise pound foolish”!
Khir had further claimed that the 10 bungalows are not meant exclusively for the exco members but also for some other senior state officials. Is he downgrading the exco members to the level of the civil servants or that he is upgrading the status of the civil servants equivalent to that of the exco members? There are only 3 ex-officio exco members in the state namely, the State Secretary, the State Legal Advisor and the State Finance Officer. All of the ex-officio have their own official residence. Who are the other state officials entitled to the posh and luxurious official residence equivalent to that of the exco members?
It is outrageous for Khir to claim that the State Legal Advisor’s official residence was in such a deplorable state that when it rained, beds had to be moved and therefore new residence had to be built. I wonder who will built a new house as replacement simply because the roofs of the present house leak?
Khir said that the club house was not exclusively for the exco members but for the meeting of the non-governmental organization as well. This is another lame excuse. How could the non-governmental organizations use the club house when it is built within an exclusive compound of the exco residence?
Further, since the site of the bungalows is supposed to be near to the state government office, meetings can be held in the government office. There is also a State Youth Complex near to the site of the bungalows that can be used to save the costs in hotel. There is no justification at all to have a club house with swimming pools and in-door badminton court.
It is most unbecoming for Khir Toyo as the head of the state government to give the lame excuses for the 10 bungalows and the club house. Khir Toyo must publicly admit his mistake without hesitation.
* Teng Chang Khim, Selangor State Assembly Opposition Leader and DAP State Assembly Representative for Sg Pinang