Saturday 26 July 2014


Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has to stand down as Menteri Besar of Selangor if he applies the three criteria set by the Sultan of Selangor for administering the country's richest state to himself.
Khalid   said the sultan reminded him that the state must be run in a trustworthy, firm and responsible manner.
Of the three, let's assume that being trustworthy is the most important.
Someone who is trustworthy is someone deserving of trust and confidence, and able to be relied on to be honest. You get a better sense of the moral value attached to the word trustworthy by looking at its synonyms.
Upright. Principled. Ethical. Virtuous. Incorruptible.
This is a high bar and rightly so because the man or woman who holds high political office wields much power, controls vast sums of taxpayers funds and influence the lives of millions with the stroke of a pen.
A leader can only be viewed as upright and trustworthy if he does not have a million-ringgit asterisk next to his name. This is where it gets tricky for Khalid. He belongs to a select group of three individuals who have seemingly obtained three surprising and controversial out-of-court settlements.
The first individual was former Malaysia Airlines boss Tajuddin Ramli.
Sometime in 2012, the then de facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz wrote to government-linked companies asking them to cease any legal proceedings they had against Tajuddin.
To say that this was a shocker would be an understatement. After all, Danaharta had won a judgment of more than RM580 million against him, and seemed poised to cement that win even at the appeal stage.
What prompted the government to go wobbly in the knees is anybody's guess because till today the Finance Minister has declined to lift the veil on that deal.
Some say Tajuddin's threat to disclose in depth former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's role in his purchase of the national carrier send shivers down the spine of Umno politicians.
The second out of court resolution saw another cabinet minister, Hasan Malek, intervene and tell the Bank Rakyat management to give carpet dealer and friend of the First Family, Deepak Jaikishan, a serious discount on the money he owed the financial institution.
The businessman, who had been making threats about spilling more dirt on the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu, received a one of a kind deal where he did not have to pay interest on the loan taken and could settle the outstanding amount by post-dated cheques over a 10-year period.
Why did he merit this special treatment? No one knows.
Just like no one knows why Bank Islam suddenly withdrew its court action to recover some RM70 million from Khalid. By all accounts, it was an open and shut case and the bank had pursued Khalid doggedly for several years.
And just like that, on one fine day, there was an out-of-court settlement between the bank and Khalid. Even more surprising was the fact that the lawyers for both parties were not involved in this deal.
Till today, Khalid has not disclosed even to his senior party members how this out-of-court settlement was reached, who suggested it and what were the terms.
The grapevine has been rife with stories of the involvement of a lawyer known as the Umno fixer during the halcyon days of Malay corporate captains.
Is this true? Who knows. Khalid, who is quick to talk about good governance and proper process, has been silent on this deal.
The Selangor Mentri Besar has even warned Pakatan Rakyat that the state could be lost if the vexing question of the leadership of the state is not resolved well. That is certainly true.
Also true is the fact that anyone who wants to lead the state must not have serious question marks hanging over his head.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry. You have taken too long to decide. I decided on the matter when he said that it was ok for citizens of Selangor to drink water from a mining pool.