Travels that count

Current Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim claimed that some RM349,134 had been spent on ex-MB Khir Toyo’s overseas travels to 21 destinations from 2001 to January 2008.

This pattern of travels, and the accompanying costs, ought to be made known to the public especially if the trips were made using the taxpayers’ money. This is because the taxpayers have the right to know how their money has been spent.

By the same token, Malaysian taxpayers would also expect Khalid Ibrahim to reveal expenses of overseas travels made by him and his Exco members.

Needless to say, the same rule should also apply to other States in the federation, particularly those under Pakatan rule given that the state governments concerned have professed to be transparent and accountable.

The Star reports:

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim made more revelations at the State Assembly yesterday, giving a summary of the travel expenses incurred by former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Khalid, who was replying to Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali on the quantum of the travel expenses, said RM349,134 had been spent on the Mentri Besar’s overseas trips to 21 destinations from 2001 to January 2008.

He added that RM19,563 and RM19,735 were spent in 2001 and 2002 respectively on air fares to London.

The then Mentri Besar also spent RM49,874.50 to fly to Tokyo, Guangzhou, Kunming, Osaka, Fukuoka and London in 2003 and RM74,972.00 in 2004 to go to Bangkok, Dubai, London, Beijing, Amsterdam, Milan and Venice.

This was followed by RM41,064.00 in 2005 to visit Paris, Geneva, Toronto, Los Angeles and Dubai and RM91,466.00 in 2006 to go to Seoul, Chicago, London, Amsterdam. Stuttgart, Beijing, Shahghai, Osaka and Tokyo.

A sum of RM20,231.00 was spent in 2007 to go to Perth, Seoul and Taipei and RM32,229.00 in January last year for a trip to London.

Khalid said the travel agency which arranged the trips in 2006 and 2007 was Green Adventure Holidays Sdn Bhd.

He said that his office was looking into the expenses incurred for accommodation and other requirements during the trips.

Khalid also said that the state government had asked Tourism Selangor Sdn Bhd to arrange all official visits undertaken by the state.

Dr Khir was not in the house to reply to the claims.


1 Response to “Travels that count”

  1. 1 tan, tanjong bungah 13 March 2009 at 11:48 am

    Hi everyone,

    The overseas travels’ expenses of all MBs and CMs and their State Exco. members should be displayed, maybe quarterly, on the States’ official websites. This would raise the transparency and accountability of all states.

    Those travel expenses borne privately by themselves can be exempted from public display.

    Let politics in Malaysia be raised a notch or two higher!

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