PETALING JAYA: An anti-graft group says there is a clear conflict of interest for Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa to continue helming Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), warning that it can lead to abuse of power.
Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said Annuar had the authority to overrule the Kuala Lumpur mayor on planning matters, as provided for under the Federal Territory (Planning) Act 1982.
“(Annuar) is the chairman of a private landowner, through YWP, while concurrently carrying the power to have government decisions made in favour of that same private landowner,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said in a statement.
“Clearly, this is an issue of conflict of interest and potential abuse of power as seen in the past.
“YWP’s purported involvement in some of the land deals is of great concern because YWP, being a private limited company, is not subject to any federal or government audits.
“Hence, there is no transparency or accountability mechanism to detect fraud and/or conflict of interest over the dealings involving government land.”
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently revealed that 97 transactions of Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) land were carried out without referring to any SOPs since 2011, with the process found to be too lax and exposed to abuse of power.
PAC also said the management of YWP, which was involved in the purchase of DBKL land, was exposed to conflict of interest as the federal territories minister and Kuala Lumpur mayor were the foundation’s chairman and trustees board member, respectively
YWP, which is a company registered under the Companies Act 1965, is not monitored by any authority, including the National Audit Department.
C4 also trained its guns on former FT minister Khalid Samad for failing to shed light and provide clearer explanations on the land deals, adding that it had estimated them to be worth around RM4.28 billion.
“The transactions had taken place under the purview of former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Mansor. Despite the change of government, the details remained secret and kept away from the public eye.
“Khalid failed to address, among other matters, how the land deals became dubious in the first place, why the SOPs were not followed, and the kind of reforms that he intended to take as preventive measures,” it said.
C4 called for a 2018 special task force report on the land deals to be debated in Parliament, adding that the findings of the report had not been released up to now.
It also urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to provide details on previous investigations into the land transactions and to relaunch the probes, particularly those involving YWP.