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“Palace Idaman” owner Zakaria Mat Deros a typical Barisan Nasional leader under the Khir Toyo’s administration

 


Media Statement

by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew


(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Several of our Selangor DAP state committee members led by State Vice Chairman Khoo Chee Pock put up a protest at the Klang City Hall (MPK) to demand that Umno State assemblyman cum MPK Councilor Zakaria Mat Deros should not be reappointed as the councilor besides demanding stern actions against him. Khoo was accompanied by Lau Weng San, Petan Tan and Lim Lip Eng.

Selangor DAP has decided to step our protest if the Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo went ahead to appoint Zakaria as councilor. Our action includes another public protest on the day of swearing-in, which was scheduled to take place after Hari Raya.

We also wanted the Selangor Land Office to justify how a piece of land worth more than 0ne million ringgit was alienated to Zakaria’s wife at only RM 180,000.

Zakaria must also explain to Malaysians how he could afford to fork out more than RM5 million (some has even estimated the cost of “Istana Idaman” to be above RM7 million) as a state assemblyman.

Our jaws were dropped when we read the comment given by the MB of Selangor in the Sun that “there is nothing prohibiting law-breakers from becoming councilors and the political system allow undesirables to creep in because of the positions they hold in the party.”

This frank admission came from Khir Toyo in the wake of reports concerning Port Klang assemblyman Datuk [email protected] Mat Deros, who built his palatial mansion without planning permission and had not been paying the annual assessment for his existing house for 12 years.

Khir Toyo said on Oct 18 that he has left it to the UMNO management committee led by the Prime Minister to decide the fate of Zakaria but the next day, the Prime Minister has openly said that he had left it to Khir Toyo to make a decision two days ago. So who is not telling the truth here? The MB or the PM?

Zakaria's daughter-in-law is slated to serve a second term and his son is to be appointed councilor.

Under the law, Mohd Khir said, Zakaria can only be fined 10 times the submission fee of RM2, 400.  As for defaulting on assessment, Mohd Khir pointed the finger at the council. MPK, he said should take appropriate action and had a few hard words too.

What happens in Klang has strengthened the argument presented by DAP in 2005, that all local governments should be elected instead of appointed. With a fair and free election, it’s unlikely that the Zakaria family could win three seats in the same local council.

Zakaria was also the culprit who approved the plan to convert the Pandamaran field into a commercial complex a month earlier.  He and another Umno councilor approved the plan in the absence of the other six councilors and he was subsequently accused of having vested interest in the project. The plan was later rejected by MPK after a public furor.

But Zakaria is just one of the typical BN leaders under the Khir Toyo administration in Selangor. The MB himself has not been setting a good example. He was accused of building the most expensive” kampong” road in his constituency (RM4 million per kilometer). He has also allowed the Bukit Cahaya Agricultural Park and Templer Park to be “raped” by developers closed his administration. He issued stop work orders after the Prime Minister famous helicopter bird’s eye view but works continued as usual after the Prime Minister has gone back to sleep.

He also uttered nothing when we reported to him that one of his Exco member from MCA Ch’ng Toh Eng has not taken any actions against his right-hand man from “stealing’ the plot of land from one of the villagers of Kg Gurney, Ulu Yam.  We have helped the villagers to make several police reports (including one with the ACA in Putrajaya) on the matter more than a year now but both Ch’ng and Khir Toyo have done nothing until today.

Have you all forgotten about the RM2.3 million man who was caught in Australia, also from Selangor? The man is now the Publicity Secretary of Umno.

If you turn your eyes to Sabah, you have the former chief minister who could gambled away more than RM100 million in London, and the current one who are busily amassing wealth for himself through all sorts of gambits.

Turn to Sarawak, you have a chief minister who could own a bank, not to mention other business interests owned by his family members.

Have you read about the story posted by me a few days ago in my blog ( Colour-blind, ronnieliutiankhiew.wordpress.com), where RM300 million will be spent just for organising a single sport event called the Monsoon Cup? The chief minister in Terengganu does not think that it’s a problem.

Turn to Negeri Sembilan and you would still want to know why the Menteri Besar was said to have spent several million ringgit originally meant for the hardcore poor in his state to renovate his official residence (according to the 2005 reports issued by the National Audit Department).

How about Melaka chief minister? I suggest you go ask our party Sec Gen Lim Guan Eng. He has plenty of details to offer. Tell me where else could you find a public toilet worth more than half a million besides Melaka? ( I suddenly remember the one at the Wetland Park in Putrajaya also worth more than half a million ringgit).

I have yet to meet up with the Minister of Local Government and Housing Ong Ka Ting for a free jetski. According to the 2005 audit reports, Ong’s ministry was found spending 7.91 million ringgit to buy 100 units of jetskis but most of them ended up in the store room collecting dust. Not only that, each jetski was overpriced by more than 100% according to the information I gathered so far. Jetski enthusiasts may be asking this question which I cannot understand either- “ why the Fire and Rescue Department under Ong need to buy so many jetskis in the first place?” Ong also spent another 10 million ringgit to buy 30 sets of super bikes (3 bikes a set) and only later found that he could not get enough fire fighters who possess the driving license to ride them.

His former boss Ling Liong Sik was said to have purchase 1,000 acres of swamp land in Westport with a value 40% higher than the market value before he steps down as the Transport Minister. I have made a police report against Ling more than 2 years now but you have guessed the answer correctly. But why should Ling bought the land in the first place? His ministry and the Westport authority under him have no business to venture into property business.

I can go on and on on this auspicious day of Deepavali, where light triumphs over darkness. May be you should visit Samy Vellu at his open house  to chat with him, and remember to ask him why he said he is the “cleanest man in Malaysia”. He said this after emerging from a two-day ACA investigation over the 10 million TNB shares Maika scandal some ten years ago.

I was told some of the mahligais and palaces owned by other BN leaders were even bigger and grander than the low cost palace owned by Zakaria. I am now sincerely asking the cooperation of all Malaysians, both local and overseas,  to shoot and email the photographs of other palaces and mahligais owned by other taikos and taukes of MCA, MIC, Umno, SUPP, PBB and other BN component parties  leaders to [email protected]. I would certainly put them up in my blog and other popular Malaysian websites for other fellow Malaysians to see.

You may begin by sending the istana at Kg Raja Uda in Port Klang owned by Selangor Speaker Onn Ismail to me as a start. Onn, his daughter, his son in law and his son in law's father were all councilors in the MPK at one time.

(20/10/2006)


*Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO Bureau Chief

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