Friday, June 04, 2010

Will Selangor Khalid's 'Najib-like Index' guarantee "cleaner and corruption-free administration" Selangor?

There are a lot of eyes on Selangor ...Selangor's PKR Menteri Besar and his government watching to get an indication of whether the Pakatan Rakyat can govern....and government effectively and differently from the UMNO-led BN government.

Anwar Ibrahim's man, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim(the Selangor MB) may be the reason for the rise or fall of the Pakatan Rakyat (or maybe just the PKR) in the upcoming General Elections. 

So far, people are not seeing much changes....and allegations of corruptions and mismanagement have been surfacing.
The latest of this has been the case of Kumpulan Semesta Sdn. Bhd. (KSSB), a Selangor State-owned company. [ A visit to the KKSB does not even reveal the name of their Board of Directors, and/or their executive staff - Why? I wanted to know who are these directors, and persons who got that more that RM500,000 bonus even before the company has been ion operation for 1 year]

Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd's (KSSB) board of directors received the biggest slice of the generous bonuses dished out by the Selangor government-owned company in the first nine months of its operations, its chairperson said today.

Testifying at the second day of the Selangor Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) committee probe into the company, Abdul Shukor Nagor (at the mike in photo below) said the company's executive director received the biggest bonus – a whopping RM82,000 for the financial year ending June 2009.

In total, the company paid out RM503,613.59 in bonuses to 45 people that financial year, with the board of directors and three senior managers receiving a four months' salary as bonus while the bulk of the frontline staff received a one-and-a-half month's salary as bonus. - Malaysiakini, 3/6/2010, Selcat hears of KSSB's RM500,000 bonus payouts
I believe Selangor government have been using lack of funds for not doing much - and here, we see bonuses being handed out in such large amounts. I am also interested in the amount being paid as salaries, and Director's allowances. 

Some say that they had to pay high salaries and bonuses to prevent staff/Directors from being tempted by corruption. So lame - if that be the case, find persons with integrity who will not fall victim to corruption. 

Money made could have been utilized for so many good purposes - including maybe even reducing toll rates, or better still building alternative free state roads. 

And, now following the footsteps of PM Najib - they are creating some 'Index' - and they are calling this Pakatan Rakyat State Government Administration Integrity Index....for a "cleaner and corruption-free administration", and to promote integrity...

Will this 'index' work? What we need is an independent body where people can lodge complaints/information about 'mismanagement', corruption, 'lack of integrity', etc...who has the power to conduct unhindered independent  transparent investigations/inquiries and come out with their findings & recommendations.  Maybe, a Selangor State Ombudsman ....or maybe even a Selangor State Human Rights Commission (why not?)...

SELCAT - definitely, we must continue to have this body - but we also need another independent body, which is outside the State Legislative Assembly - which is not headed(and/or composed) by  State Legislative Assembly persons.

In a bid for a "cleaner and corruption-free administration", the Selangor government has introduced two measures to promote integrity.
khalid ibrahimMenteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today announced the launch of the Pakatan Rakyat State Government Administration Integrity Index as well as an Integrity Pact.

He said that the Integrity Index would be used as a barometer to rank the state government's effectiveness and the achievements annually, based on the principles of competency, accountability and transparency.

“The index will enable the state government to know its standing in its administration and at the same time allow people in Selangor to judge our level of commitment towards our policies,” he told a press conference this morning.

“The Integrity Pact is a preventative measure against corruption when awarding contracts and public tenders.”

Fielding questions, he said that the index would be decided by external evaluators.

“Of course it won't be done by our own people. We have not decided yet, but it will likely be from Transparency International Malaysia or TI-M, the Coalition for Good Governance or reputable accounting firms,” he said.

Special committee

He denied that the need for integrity measures is due to the failure of other measures on good governance put in place when Pakatan took over the state government in 2008.

“We want to see how effective we are in the management of our transparency and accountability activities,” he said.

He said a point system of up to 100 would chart the “progression” of each person's integrity.

This comes a few days after Khalid - who is also Selangor PKR chief - came under heavy criticism at the party's national congress for failing to tackle corruption in the state.
pkr supreme council meeting 0404010 wan azizahDuring the congress, Khalid revealed that party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had instructed him to come up with an integrity plan.

A special committee will be set up to implement the measures with guidance from TI-M.

“At this time, the federal government is not included in the Global Integrity Index. 

The Selangor government will be the first state in the country to have an integrity index,” he said, adding that all executive councillors will be evaluated.
Successful applicants to be known

Meanwhile, state exco in charge of housing Iskandar Abdul Samad announced that the successful applicants for low-cost housing in Selangor will soon be able to check the status of their applications from July 1 onwards.

He said that they would be able to do this online and the names of successful applicants would also be displayed at local council offices.

He added that with this measure, it was hoped that the fiasco of local council officers themselves buying up the low-cost units would be history.

"In the past, the application goes through the district office. Now it goes to the state's Housing and Property Board.

So I hope that with this and with the list of names on public display, there will be double security," he said. - Malaysiakini, 2/6/2010, Stung by criticism, S'gor introduces Integrity Index

1 comment:

Jonathan Eyler-Werve said...

Glad to see the local enthusiasm for these issues, but I certainly second your thoughts that creating a local reporting or ombudsman office is what will actually create change for citizens. Indeed, that's what our Index tracks - how well the Ombudsman is working (along with many related institutions). Evaluation is useful, but there has to be something to evaluate!

In other news, we hope to include Malaysia's national government in the next round of the Global Integrity Report.

Jonathan at Global Integrity