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Friday, March 27, 2009

> Illegal dissolution of Balkis

The dissolution of Balkis, the wives of Selangor elected representatives charity and welfare organisation, in March last year may have been illegal because there was no quorum, a member of the Selangor State Assembly's Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) suggested today.

Azmin Ali (Bukit Antarabangsa) said that according to Article 15(I) of the Balkis constitution, the organisation cannot be dissolved without the approval of at least two-thirds of its ordinary members.

"Because those present (at the dissolution meeting) were not ordinary members, the decision to dissolve the organisation was against the law," he said.

Azmin made his remarks when the select committee was questioning state Registrar of Societies officer Tairah Yusoff in its ongoing inquiry into excesses by Balkis.

"Why did ROS not  take the responsibility to advise Putrajaya (the head office of ROS)?"  he asked Tairah.

"This is your function and responsibility as a ROS state officer, as the constitution of Balkis was approved by the state ROS."

State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim, who chaired the committee, also questioned Tairah on the matter.

"If the state office knew that several provisions were breached in the dissolution, why did the state ROS not advise the head office accordingly? he asked.

"The members who attended the meeting on March 11, 2008, were illegal members. Why did the state office keep quiet on this?"

Tairah replied: "This was the process and we did not know the rest. We looked at the constitution and the quorum. We don't know the rest."

Teng pointed out that it was insufficient to merely assume quorum was constituted based on mere numbers.

"The quorum is more than just numbers. One has to see the membership of the people in the quorum, whether they are all valid members. If they put in people who are not members, does that make it a valid quorum? It is not. You have to examine (the membership," he said.

Teng said the change in the state government after the March 8 general election had to be taken into account.

"On March 8, you knew that the previous ruling party had lost and that 34 seats had changed hands. This means that 34 members (of Balkis) had lost the right to be members. This means that out of the 70 who attended (the meeting), 34 were ineligible. This means there was no quorum," he said.

Azmin then told Tairah: "You testified that at the time, the new mentri besar (Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim) had not taken his oath of office yet. That means, there was some consideration (by ROS) at the state level.

"If you could think that the members (of Balkis) were valid as Tan Sri Khalid had yet to be sworn in, that means that a consideration was made."

He said the consideration was not the right one and that the question of whether the new mentri besar had been sworn in was a matter of procedure.

Azmin described the action of the Selangor ROS as a "political" one, to which Tairah disagreed."We do not go to that level of detail," she said. 

"We do not check for the validity of members. I really did not go to that level of detail and I really did not know," she said, adding that the state assistant registrar would know such details.Teng then asked Tairah to provide the details of the assistant registrar, who would be called to  testify on a later date.

The other members of the select committee are Taman Medan assemblyman Haniza Talha, Ulu Kelang assemblyman Shaari Sungib, Bukit Gasing assemblyman Edward Lee, Dusun Tua assemblyman Ismail Sani (BN) and Permatang assemblyman Sulaiman Abdul Razak (BN).

The inquiry continue today - theSun.