Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) spent about a million ringgit in 2007 to sponsor a three-day sports event organised by the now defunct Wives of Selangor State Assemblymen and MPs’ Charity and Welfare Organisation (Balkis).
PNSB chief executive officer Datin Khairiyah Abu Hassan, who testified before the Selangor State Assembly’s Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) Wednesday, said purchases included sporting apparel for Balkis and visiting contingent members.
Balkis was headed by former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo’s wife Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik throughout his tenure as mentri besar from 2000 to 2008, when the state of Selangor fell to the Opposition.
Khairiyah said the National Sports Council had initially sponsored sporting attire for the contingent members but they were all of the wrong sizes.
Given this, she said PNSB had to cough up about RM100,000 to purchase new sporting apparel for the contingent members.
PNSB also paid another RM45,781 for souvenirs for VVIP guests attending the event.
Khairiyah also told Selcat that some of the instructions to sponsor the Balkis programme came from Dr Mohd Khir himself.
Selcat, chaired by Selangor Legislative Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim, also includes the Deputy Speaker Haniza Talha (assemblyman for Taman Medan), Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa), Saari Sungib (Hulu Klang) and Edward Lee (Bukit Gasing) as well as Barisan Nasional’s Sulaiman Abdul Razak (Permatang) and Ismail Sani (Dusun Tua).
The inquiry also heard that PNSB paid RM34,600 for a Hong Kong trip in March 2007 and RM88,388 for a trip to Tokyo in June the same year.
The conglomerate also paid RM14,900 for tickets to Melbourne for Zaharah and Khairiyah in December, 2007.
Upon being questioned by Selcat, Khairiyah said the trip was to visit Dr Mohd Khir and Zaharah’s son who is studying in Melbourne.
Khairiyah also revealed that PNSB paid the salaries of three officers who worked exclusively for Balkis.
Selcat also noted that PNSB only spent RM4,000 for a welfare programme for single mothers in October, 2007 as opposed to the large amount of money forked out to pay for Balkis activities.
Khairiyah told the inquiry on Tuesday that RM1mil was allocated annually by PNSB to Balkis from 2002 to 2007.
She had revealed that in addition to the RM1mil, PNSB also paid for various activities organised by Balkis such as a mass wedding for converts in 2003, which cost about RM53,000.
She had also admitted that PNSB made payments on behalf of Balkis without really knowing who the recipients were.
Khairiyah was also questioned as to why PNSB purchased a RM3,600 Summermen’s suit for Dr Mohd Khir in 2004 upon receiving a Balkis request, given that the recipient was Zaharah’s husband.
On the first day of the hearing on Monday, the inquiry heard how Zaharah had led a seven-member team, including an officer from the state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan (KDEB), on a shopping trip to Guangzhou, China in May, 2007.
KDEB president Datuk Abdul Karim Munisar admitted that the company paid RM206,574.89 for the souvenirs as well as RM17,000 for air tickets.
The souvenirs included a large amount of decorative flowers of various colours as well as 900 caps in blue, red and purple priced at RM8 each.
Azmin had also noted the invoice indicated the supplier was based in Kuala Lumpur and given this, added that he did not see why the entourage had to go all the way to China to make the purchases.
When his turn came to be grilled by Selcat, former Selangor Development Corp (PKNS) general manager Datuk Harun Salim said his organisation felt obliged to pick up the tab whenever Zaharah sent in a request.
When asked if Balkis was regarded as a privileged and special entity, Harun had said: “Honestly, I must say ‘yes’.”
Khir Toyo instructed PNSB to sponsor Balkis activity