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SHAH ALAM, Aug 18, 2015:

The setting up of the Darul Ehsan Investment Group (Deig) by the Selangor State Government is akin to the Federal Government setting up the Finance Ministry-owned strategic investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), says former Selangor Menteti Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Criticising the actions of his successor, Abdul Khalid said Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali had ‘changed’ the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI) to Deig, making it an entity whose operations would be hard to keep an eye on.

Abdul Khalid, who is the Port Klang assemblyman, said the new entity would increase risks by failing to provide proper financial information.

He said what was more worrisome is that it is free to carry out its own audits.

“Before 2008, MBI was under the jurisdiction of Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB). There was no proper management structure on how MBI was managed.

“I changed MBI to a special entity that is answerable to the State Government and the State Assembly. There were no intermediaries any more.

“Based on my experience it would be very difficult to for the State and Assembly to keep a watchful eye on Deig, especially on their contracts,” he said at the State Assembly today after Azmin mentioned the setting up of DEIG.

Unhappy with what Khalid had said, Azmin then attacked the severance package that Khalid had given to his officers without the approval of the State Assembly.

“If we wanted to hear about an economic lecture we can hear it but YB (Khalid) must give proper examples…. If it was true that MBI’s status was clear under KDEB and it was taken out and put under a new entity named MBI, that sounds good but how did it operate? How were its officers paid gratuity without approval?”

Tension rose in the state assembly when Khalid stood up to reply. He said he could not give a reply because the matter was now before the courts.

“Let me talk about it, I know its before the court but this is only one of the examples of the truthfulness of the Port Klang assemblyman who claims that MBI was set up to be answerable to the State Assembly.”

They continued to attack each other while defending their own positions until the speaker Hannah Yeoh was forced to intervene and remind them to focus on the issue at hand; Deig.

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