[INTERVIEW] Face to Face with Azmin Ali: PKNS fiasco started with a car

THE inside story of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) fiasco between a PKR top leader and the Selangor MB started with a car.

PKR state chairman and one of the former PKNS board of director Azmin Ali revealed that the whole problem started when he returned the car belonging to PKNS as he thought he should.

“I have no qualms about him sacking me from the board, I am ok – that is his prerogative.

“I am not focusing on that, but the process is not transparent. Again when you talk about a reform party and reform government, it has to be transparent, the disclosure of the minutes of exco meeting clearly doesn’t reflect good on the state government, because the reason given in the Exco paper is that I returned the privileges given to be as board member, but I thought I was doing the right thing.

“Immediately after Tan Sri Abdul Khalid (Ibrahim) dissolved the state assembly prior to GE13, I think two hours after that, I returned the car. It is just an ordinary car, a Honda CRV, it’s not 7 series’ BMW or 500 series’ Mercedes Benz, Ok, I thought I can’t, morally I can’t drive a state car during caretaker government. This is also part of the circular written and given by the state secretary Datuk Khusrin (Munawi),” said Azmin.

He was speaking to fz.com in an exclusive interview.

Azmin said that he is not accusing Khalid of anything, but when speculations arised on whether the MB is out to slay Azmin, he said Khalid should have been more transparent.

Azmin, who was given the boot prior to his term expiry had allegedly cried foul, causing Khalid and the corporation’s then general manager, Datuk Othman Omar to point fingers at each other on who was responsible for the sacking.

Othman and executive secretary, Norita Sidek were later transferred out of office, followed by the dismissal of 22 contract staffs at the corporation.

“Immediately after the election, PKNS called me and asked me to collect the car – I refused – because I am not sure if I am still a board member, so I told PKNS the best thing to do was consult the state legal advisor.

“The legal advisor put in writing to the MB that my contract as a board member is still valid until Feb 2015.

“Based on the advice by the state legal advisor, I decided to take back the car. That’s it. Why was I punished because of that? No other reason given in that Exco paper. That was the only reason for my removal,” said Azmin.

He also denied that the other 22 PKNS’ senior staff removed were the expunging of Azmin’s loyalists by Khalid.

“I don’t know all of them. I know none of them,” said Azmin, but only later to admit one of them was his former speechwriter.

He explained that he had no contact with the speechwriter since 2004 and that he only came to know of the latter’s appointment in PKNS much later.

“Did I write any letter of recommendation? Did I propose his name? The burden of proof is on them.

“The fact remains – I didn’t know that Muaz joined PKNS after two or three months later. Someone told me Muaz is with PKNS, I didn’t know.

“If I used my position as a board member to put in a recommendation or to suggest Muaz to be appointed, can they prove that? Nothing. How about the other 19 senior management? I don’t know them at all,” said Azmin.

He said he will reveal this and more at the Selangor’s Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) hearing which will be held at the end of this month.