Melaka exco defends suit against fellow PKR leader

Melaka executive councillor for tourism, heritage and culture Muhammad Jailani Khamis. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A Melaka executive council member today defended his decision to sue a fellow party leader over allegations that the former had facilitated the appointment of his sister as the director of the Melaka Zoo.

Speaking to FMT, Muhammad Jailani Khamis, the executive councillor for tourism, heritage and culture in the state, said Kota Melaka PKR vice-chief Mohd Ashiq Abd Samad had defamed him.

“In a Facebook post, Ashiq insinuated that I had a role in the appointment of my sister Zanariah Khamis as the ‘CEO’ of the zoo.

“I had nothing to do with Zanariah’s appointment. Also, there is no such thing as a CEO of the zoo because it is not managed by a private company but by the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).”

Jailani added that he had nothing to do with any local councils which come under the purview of housing, local government and environment exco Tey Kok Kiew.

He said his sister had been in the civil service for more than 24 years, including some 10 years in MPHTJ, and that her appointment was the council’s decision.

He urged anyone who suspected abuse of power in the process to file a complaint with the police or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission instead of levelling “baseless accusations” against him.

Jailani also hit out at those whom he claimed were needlessly trying to turn his suit against Ashiq into an intra-party issue.

“This is not a party issue, and I do not want to involve other party leaders. I am just trying to clear my name because the claims against me are defamatory.”

Earlier today, Malay daily Sinar Harian reported that Jailani had filed a RM5 million suit against Ashiq over his allegations.

Ashiq meanwhile said he was responsible for his criticism and statements on Facebook which he added were based on facts.

“The individual (Jailani) did not even call me to resolve the matter amicably and wants to take it to the High Court. I accept, and I will follow the court process,” Ashiq was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, MPHTJ president Mahani Masban said Zanariah was appointed as she was the most qualified person for the job. She added that Zanariah had already been a director on the council before Jailani joined PKR.

“Jailani has nothing to do with MPHTJ. When the zoo was taken over by MPHTJ, we had a full board meeting to appoint Zanariah to the post.

“Jailani has never called us or come here. Zanariah is a very hard-working lady and has never mentioned her brother’s name to us.”