I didn’t realise allocation finishing???

February 2nd, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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What kind of representative is this la? Need to go for financial management course before standing for re-election. Not knowing the status and details of allocations is a pathetic excuse. Leaving this to aides to run the office is fine, but that doesn’t absolve you of anything. Its your responsibility and your head on the block.

Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu admitted he did not realise he had used almost all of his RM600,000 annual allocation for 2009 in the first six months.

He was in fact surprised when informed by the Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) of the Selangor State Assembly that 99% of his allocation had been used between January and June.

Liu, the state Local Government Committee chairman, said he only knew that a large portion of the allocation had been spent when his personal assistant told him “wang cepat habis” (the money was running out fast).

Liu was hauled before a Selcat inquiry yesterday at the state secretariat building here to explain excessive expenditures of annual allocations.

“The situation in and around my constituency is unique. There are many active associations, temples and churches.

“They request for my financial help. There is a lot of pressure on my part,” said the Pandamaran state assemblyman.

When Selcat panel member Saari Sungib asked Liu what did he do to source for money after June when his allocation dried up, the exco member replied he pledged funds to organisations by using loans and next year’s allocation.

He had pledged about RM120,000 until the end of last year.

Saari then asked him: “Aren’t you a politician who promises too much?” Liu replied: “These are promises I can keep. The money will not be given out immediately. The recipients understand this.”

Another Selcat panel member Mohamed Azmin Ali asked why the allocation disbursed via cheques to 43 organisations had named individuals as recipients, and Liu said: “That is a good question.

“I do not know why such a mechanism was used. I will direct my three personal assistants to change the names of the recipients to the associations.” [this is recipe for disaster. MACC will be gleefully investigate this!]

Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei were the other two leaders who have used more than 70% of their allocations from January to June 2009.

Nik Nazmi had used up 88% of his funds while Shuhaimi had spent 72%.

Later at a press conference, Selcat chairman Teng Chang Khim commended Nik Nazmi and Shuhaimi, describing them as “superb” in answering questions posed by the panel members.

“Nik Nazmi adhered to the guidelines by using 30% of his allocation for small projects and is very familiar with his account.

“Shuhaimi explained that his area encountered three floods in December 2008 and January the following year,” he said.

NST has more juicy details:

Pandamaran assemblyman Ronnie Liu pleaded ignorance and blamed his personal assistant for his financial predicament on the last day of the Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) hearing yesterday.Liu, who was the first Pakatan Rakyat representative called as a witness before Selcat, spent 99.01 per cent of his RM618,042.34 constituency allocation last year in six months (from January to June). [who is elected rep, Ronnie or his assistant?]

He said he did not realise that he had spent almost all his constituency allocation by June as he was not in charge of the accounts and was never informed by his personal assistant Tee Boon Hock that it had almost run out of money.

My personal assistant was in charge of the accounts and because he is also a local councillor, he did not have the time to tell me.

“He just said, ‘YB, the money is finishing fast’. I was surprised when I was told by Selcat that 99 per cent of my constituency allocation had been spent.”

He was one of the first Pakatan representatives who disclosed to the public that most Barisan Nasional assemblymen in Selangor had spent their annual constituency allocations within the first three months in 2008.

Liu, who is state executive councillor in charge of local government and research, claimed most of his allocation went to schools, non-governmental and religious associations, adding that he was under pressure to contribute.

Selcat chairman Teng Chang Khim said Liu could not make such a claim as only 40 of the 168 applications for contributions were from schools and organisations.

Liu, however, disagreed. Teng then ordered him to read out loud each of the organisation which received funds from him.

It turned out that 43 of 168 contributions were made to associations and religious bodies and this amounted to 25 per cent of the allocations.

Moreover, none of the allocations was spent on small projects and of the 168 che-ques issued, 167 were to Tee. [this is not a good news!]

Liu was also grilled by the panel on his “pledges” to give money to associations after his allocations ran out and his decision to borrow money to hold functions. [borrowing money is also not good sign]

By the end of last year, Liu had pledged an additional RM120,000, which was to be paid with this year’s allocation.

Teng said: “What circular or guideline did you use to make such a decision?

“If the state assembly was to be dissolved tomorrow, how would you pay for it?”

I think Ronnie Liu is in deep, deep trouble.


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