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05 June 2010

No evidence of corruption in Semesta - SELCAT

The initial findings of the Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) show there is no evidence of corruption in the Selangor-owned sand mining company, Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB).

This was the conclusion of Selcat at the end of its three-day inquiry today.

Selcat chairman Teng Chang Kim said, however, there was an indication of mismanagement and loopholes in KSSB's administrative system.

He also said that nothing brought before the Selcat inquiry indicated that KSSB was mired in a scandal.

"So where is the scandal? I don't see any scandal. We don't see any of the issues brought up by the MP (Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam) as a scandal," Teng told reporters after chairing the Selcat hearing today.

Selcat probed allegations by Kapar Member of Parliament S. Manikavasagam of corrupt activities involving senior officials of KSSB.

Earlier, Manikavasagam had a heated argument with Teng when he (Manikavasagam) was not allowed to bring in his two key witnesses.

Teng did not allow Manikavasagam to present the witnesses as the Selcat committee had not received written statements from them.

"Selcat needs to receive written statements from witnesses beforehand so that the committee can ascertain whether they should be called to the inquiry.

We need to see whether there is any relevance from the statutory declaration given by the witnesses on the allegations. Proper procedures and Commonwealth parliamentarian practice need to be followed," said Teng.

Manikavasagam had insisted on presenting the two witnesses, a KSSB employee and a sand mining contractor.

The lawmaker also wanted to tender new evidence on the allegations to the inquiry, and this was also turned down by Teng.

"These are all important proof and documents which I need to show today," said an irritated Manikavasagam, after which he left the hall.

Meanwhile, a sand mining contractor revealed that a KSSB officer had requested from him a commission of RM1 per tonne in November last year for future sand purchases.

The contractor said that though the officer had confirmed a price of RM12.50 per tonne for a stockpile of sand at Sungai Darah, he revised the price to RM14 per tonne after the contractor had almost finished clearing the stockpile.

He also said that KSSB had allowed him to make payments first and collect the sand later. - BERNAMA

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