Wednesday, August 17

No allocation for foundation since Pakatan took over: Khalid

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SHAH ALAM: No funds were channelled to the Poverty Eradication Foundation (YBK) since the opposition took over the Selangor  administration in March 2008, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said yesterday.He said the state government was in the dark over what projects were given to  the  foundation, how much money had been spent or who had benefitted from the projects.

“Why should we give money to (YBK) if the state government does not know what it (YBK) was going to do with it?

“We decided not to allocate funds for YBK because we didn’t know what they are doing (pertaining to projects involving poverty eradication programmes),” he told reporters after opening the Matta International Fair Selangor Umrah and Muslim Travel Destinations  (Masum)  at the Shah Alam Convention Centre near here.

To ensure transparency and sound management in the foundation, the state government had earlier stated its wish to appoint Abdul Khalid as its chairman, and Selangor Welfare, Women’s Affairs, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Rodziah Ismail to the board, as the state government’s represent-ative.

YBK chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Sakom was reported as saying that the organisation would have to immediately pay RM6 million  in  quit  rent  arrears if they did not accept Abdul Khalid as chairman, thus delaying the development of a Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) campus on the foundation’s land in Serendah, Selangor.

Khalid said, YBK had not been transparent in its financial dealings with regard to funds, assets or land which were contributed to the foundation.

“Over the years, the (previous) state  govern-ment supported YBK’s activities in a big way but that was not reflected in the foundation’s accounts.

“YBK should appreciate the (previous) state government’s support in having  provided   the  biggest financial and resources support since it was set up,” he said, adding the current state government would conduct its own assessment on the contributions made towards the foundation.

On the post of YBK chairman, Khalid said he was not  lobbying  for the post and only wanted to ensure that the  leader  of a state was also involved in policy and decision-making concerning distribution of support to poor people. – Bernama