Selangor Government to act on Balkis

selangorSHAH ALAM (April 8, 2009) : The Selangor government will take legal action to contest the dissolution of the Selangor Wives of Elected Representatives’ Charity and Welfare Organisation (Balkis) as the organisation had obtained funding from the state government and its subsidiaries. Balkis was dissolved on March 11, 2008, three days after the Pakatan Rakyat coalition took over administration of Selangor from the Barisan Nasional. “We will first get the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to stop the dissolution because we feel there is a need to consider the opinions of those who are involved in funding Balkis, including the state government.” said Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. If this fails, he said, the state will move into the second stage, which is to bring the matter before the court on the basis of trust – i.e. that trustees should have considered the people involved in funding and supporting Balkis, he added. Asked the parties to be named in the case, Abdul Khalid said: “The ROS and Balkis trustees and members.” Zahrah Kechik State executive councilor Teresa Kok said the state has appointed the law firm of Fernandez and Selvarajah to handle the case. The dissolution of Balkis has been an issue, especially since more than RM9.9 million in funds was transferred from Balkis coffers to its Federal equivalent, Bakti, following an emergency general meeting (EGM) on March 11, 2008, where it was decided that the society would be dissolved. The ROS dissolved the society on Feb 11 this year. During the Select Committee on Competency, Transparency and Acountability (Selcat) hearing which ended last week, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim who chaired the committee had questioned ROS on this dissolution including the failure to checks on the composition of Balkis members who voted to dissolve the society. ROS officer Tairah Yusoff had said that 70 out of the 100 Balkis members had attended the meeting to vote. The quorum requirement is 64 members. Khir Toyo Questions were raised on the eligibility of the members concerned to vote since their husbands had lost in the elections. Also Selangor had 56 assemblymen, 22 Parliamentarians, five senators and a Speaker, so membership could not be more than 84. The state is also seeking clarification and return of the RM9.9 million which according to Tairah is in the hands of the Insolvency Department of Malaysia – especially as Selangor and its subsidiaries had been contributors and more so because the state deems the dissolution of the society unlawful. During the seven-day Selcat hearing, panel members and the public heard how millions in funds were allocated to Balkis which used the money to host lavish dinners, for “technical” visits, “souvenir shopping” visits and “repentence trips” to several foreign destinations including China, HongKong and Cambodia and to purchase expensive souvenirs and sports attire for VIPs including the chairman of state subsidiaries and former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo. Mohd Khir’s wife Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik was the president of Balkis during that time

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