Khalid: Why I appointed aide to DBKL advisory board

Former FT minister Khalid Samad and former prime minister Najib Razak took swipes at each other over the arrest of Khalid’s former aide.

PETALING JAYA: Former federal territories minister Khalid Samad has explained the appointment of his former political secretary to the advisory board of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

The aide, Azli Yusuf, is being held in custody by the police in an investigation over bribery and fraud allegations.

Khalid, speaking to FMT, said he had appointed Azli to the advisory board because of Azli’s experience as a two-term city councillor in Shah Alam.

“The advisory board position is a non-executive position and serves only to advise the mayor on policy issues. The board does not give approvals to any applications,” he told FMT today.

His comments came in response to questions posed online by former prime minister Najib Razak, who wanted Khalid to confirm that Azli was a DBKL advisory board member and asked if Khalid had appointed him.

“Is he also the Shah Alam Amanah division chief?” Najib had said. “You are the MP for which constituency?”

Khalid is MP for Shah Alam and communications director of Amanah.

He confirmed that Azli is head of Amanah’s Shah Alam division, a position Azli has held since 2015 and was considered to be among the next cohort of party leaders who would replace Khalid in time to come.

He said Azli held engineering qualifications from a university in the United States, and he believed that Azli, with his experience and knowledge, would be able to advise the mayor on a wide range of issues.

Najib in his posting had also said: “What is the meaning of a broker?” in a reference to Khalid’s statement last night that Azli had been the victim of a broker who had misused the name of the aide in his dealings with an architect’s firm.

Khalid said the firm had been given a fake DO (development order) by the broker who was paid after he had misused the name of his aide.

In responding to Najib’s comments, Khalid also took a swipe at Najib’s involvement with the 1MDB scandal and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho. The businessman, better known as Jho Low, is wanted for his role in the 1MDB scandal, over which Najib is being tried on criminal charges.

“A broker is someone like Jho Low,” Khalid said. “Only, in this case, the broker claimed to represent Hj Azli. But it is not true,” said Khalid.

He said “surely Jib (Najib) knows (the meaning of broker), as he is said to have used Jho Low to help the Malays especially in the Pekan parliamentary constituency.” Najib is MP for Pekan.

Khalid said he represented Shah Alam, an area with 80% Malay voters who had elected him with an over-30,000 majority. Shah Alam, he said, was home to educated Malay voters who wanted a representative and leadership free of corruption.

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