Tuesday, April 13, 2010

YBK audit report reveals misuse of land

The much-anticipated audit report on Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan (YBK) was released today in the Selangor State Assembly, making it fodder for the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign.

Already BN is promising to approve the building of a UiTM campus on YBK land in Serendah, which has been held back by the Pakatan government.

NONEBut quoting the report, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim (right) said that neither the foundation nor its subsidiary Permodalan YBK Sdn Bhd (PYBK) had submitted an application for the project.

Khalid added that the approximately 60-page report is incomplete as Selangor Audit Department officers were barred from entering YBK's premises to conduct the audit.

The Selangor Audit Department reports directly to the Auditor-General office and does not take instructions from the state government, he said.

To fill in the blanks, a taskforce will be set up for the purpose of obtaining the details on the use of land provided to YBK by the Selangor government.

He added that the taskforce will be formed after the Hulu Selangor by-election, with members still to be finalised.

"The suggestion is to have independent bodies like Transparency International and the Bar Council in the taskforce.

"We could even invite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission," he said.

The report, which was handed to all state assemblypersons and the media today, revealed that land issued by the state to YBK for the purpose of poverty eradication have been misused or mortgaged.

Sixteen lots of land were mortgaged to third parties, with PYBK responsible for five lots amounting to RM102 million.

Of the 16 lots, 12 of the caveats are held by Bellgrand Sdn Bhd.

"We need to find out who are the shareholders in Bellgrand," Khalid said.

Relocation project scrapped

In Gombak, a relocation project for the poor was scrapped with the 8.5 acres of land used for a commercial project involving 410 units of shop houses and low and medium cost flats.

NONEAsked if the Selangor government will take legal action against the foundation, Khalid said that this will have to wait until the taskforce has done its research.

"While those living in the flats now may not be poor, they will still be affected by any decision we take," he said.

YBK is headed by former Batang Kali ADUN Zainal Abidin Sakom (left), with wife Hartini Osman being one of the trustees.

Since 1990, the state government has awarded a total of 1,977.428 acres of land to the foundation for the purpose of poverty eradication.

The foundation and its subsidiaries owes the Selangor government RM7.376 million in of quit rent arrears.
Audit report "irrelevant"
In the royal debate later BN-Sungai Burong Shamsuddin Lias said the audit report was "irrelevant" as according to the Undang-Undang Tubuh YBK (YBK Formation Law) only an auditor appointed by the Board of Trustees is allowed to conduct such an audit.
In fact, he said, YBK had already conducted its own audit using reputable auditors from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Norazizi Rashid & Associates.

He also refuted claims that the foundation had not acted in a transparent manner.

"All financial reports from 1993 to 2008 can be accessed freely from the YBK website, he said. 
courtesy of Malaysiakini

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