C4 raises alarm over ‘political appointments’ in FT ministry welfare arm

Cynthia Gabriel

PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft group today warned Putrajaya against appointing politically-linked officials to Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), the welfare arm of the Federal Territories ministry.

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said there was a “real danger” of politicians sitting in foundations and abusing their position “as seen in the past”.

“It opens up opportunities for officials to bypass objective criteria for assessment and the selection of developers, thus facilitating cronyism, nepotism and corruption,” Cynthia said in a statement.

“This will lead to non-competent developers being awarded projects. As a result of that, the project will suffer from poor quality, increase in cost and delays.”

Cynthia pointed out what seems to be political appointments in the new board of trustees of YWP, including, among others, a special duties officer to the federal territories minister, a PPBM division chief and a PKR coordinator.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad is current YWP chairman.

His predecessor Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor previously chaired the YWP.

Cynthia said during Tengku Adnan’s tenure as YWP chairman, the board consisted of “politically linked” trustees, including two Umno division chiefs and three Umno MPs.

She urged the Pakatan Harapan government to ensure government-related foundations were free from politics if it was “serious about reforms”.

She also urged Putrajaya to disclose YWP’s accounts and its annual budget to the public.

Cynthia, meanwhile, praised Khalid for his “continuous effort in exposing past malfeasance” of the previous administration, including “blatant land grab and money transfers”, citing the alleged trespassing on two lots of government land at Medan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, as one example.

But she expressed concern some of these land deals had “somehow landed” in YWP, which, she had pointed out in a statement last year, had said it was not a political company or tied to political parties.