Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter from Councillor Richard Yeoh In Response To Nadeswaran

Dear Nadeswaran:
I am responding to your article as an MBPJ councillor and a member of the Audit & Corporate Governance Committee of MBPJ.
I shall confine myself to clarifying key points raised in the article. This email is copied to others who were copied in the original email of your article that was sent to me, for their info only.
When I became aware of the matter sometime in February this year, I did contact my fellow councillor Mr KW Mak to offer my assistance in taking the matter to the Audit & Corporate Governance Committee of MBPJ of which I am a member, with the intention of carrying out an investigation if there was evidence of irregularity in the allocation of low-cost housing units. At that time, Mr Mak told me that he had given the Mayor a deadline to take action failing which, he would refer the matter to SELCAT.
I subsequently heard that the matter was acted upon by the Disciplinary Committee of MBPJ chaired by Mayor. It was reportedly also discussed at SELCAT.
I subsequently did follow up with Mr Mak on the matter and to offer my assistance and he informed me that he was capable of pursuing the matter.
The only correspondence that I received from Mr Mak was a letter dated April 29th that was copied to Mayor, State EXCO members, Speaker, and MBPJ Councillors wherein a copy of an unsigned anonymous general complaint alleging malpractices in the acquisition of low-cost housing units and a copy of a purported letter offering banking facility to an MBPJ staff member were appended. Mr Mak's letter requested Mayor to do an audit of all low-cost houses in PJ to ascertain if any officer of MBPJ or their close relatives owned low-cost houses and for the results of the audit to be tabled at MBPJ's full council board meeting and to SELCAT for further investigation.
The special full council board meeting on May 25th was called to deliberate on the best way to investigate the matter in view of the serious allegations published in the press recently. Mr Mak left very early in the meeting when a few councillors were debating on how such allegations should be handled. To the best of my recollection, the meeting deliberated mainly on how the matter should be investigated. Mr Mak's role in this matter was not the subject of discussion at the meeting.
As a result of the meeting, the Audit & Corporate Governance was tasked to investigate the matter and the first meeting to plan the work will be held on May 27th.
The reason for the Committee not inquiring into the matter earlier, was due to the belief held that the matter was being handled by Mayor through the Disciplinary Committee.
Now that the Council has referred the matter to the Audit & Corporate Governance, we will ensure that the full facts are uncovered. If appropriate, we should even hold a public inquiry into the matter since issues of public interests are involved here.
Let me state clearly here that I have the highest respect for Mr Mak's work as a councillor and have had no occassion to doubt his good intentions and integrity.
We hope all parties concerned will offer their full cooperation to the inquiry and investigation.
Yours sincerely,

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