Be careful of ‘gifts’, Johor PKR chief warns after exco accused of accepting luxury condo

The luxury condominium located in the prestigious Country Garden at Danga Bay in Johor Baru that is alleged to have been used by a Johor state executive council member as his abode after being given access to it by a businessman. — Picture by Ben Tan
The luxury condominium located in the prestigious Country Garden at Danga Bay in Johor Baru that is alleged to have been used by a Johor state executive council member as his abode after being given access to it by a businessman. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, May 30 — Johor PKR chief Hassan Abdul Karim has reminded the state’s party members to uphold their integrity and be careful of gratification than can come in various forms.

He said the reminder goes out to all of Johor’s Pakatan Harapan (PH), especially PKR, elected representatives, following allegations that a state lawmaker was gifted a luxury condominium by a highly-connected local businessman.

“We need to be transparent and have integrity in our conduct. This reminder also goes out to myself,” Hassan, who is also the Pasir Gudang MP, told Malay Mail.

The accusation had come from Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) Youth chief Khalid Mohd Ismath, who warned that he would go public with the name of the Johor state executive councillor (exco) if the latter is adamant on keeping the property.

On Monday, political activist and Parti Sosialis Malaysia Youth chief Khalid Mohd Ismath issued a warning to the Johor executive council member. — Picture via Twitter/ khalid Ismath
On Monday, political activist and Parti Sosialis Malaysia Youth chief Khalid Mohd Ismath issued a warning to the Johor executive council member. — Picture via Twitter/ khalid Ismath

In a tweet on Monday, the activist alleged that the exco member from PKR has received a luxury home given by a rich individual.

“An anti-monarch group in Johor will expose his name in seven days if he still fails to return the house [to its owner] and get out from it,” Khalid had said.

In response, Hassan said as part of the reform agenda, PKR welcomes whistleblowers such as Khalid to inform and remind party members of such risks that can marr the reputation of an elected representative.

“However, I would like to remind the whistleblowers that they need to back-up their allegations with evidence and strong facts.

“This is important as the allegation of gratification is serious and should not be part of a slander campaign,” said Hassan, adding that even though the property may be in someone else’s name, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can still investigate it for gratification as it involves something that has a price.

Checks by Malay Mail revealed that the luxury property in question is a unit of serviced condominium located in the prestigious area of Country Garden in Danga Bay.

The unit in question is believed to be located at the Lovell block fronting the Straits of Johor that can fetch a monthly rental of above RM3,000.

The property owner in question is under another person’s name, and it is understood that the state executive council member is only given access to the luxury condominium for his accommodation.

Meanwhile, Khalid said he acted by issuing a warning via Twitter on the alleged misuse of the luxury condominium as it was seen as an integrity issue by a PH state elected representative.

“For me, it is a question of the need to uphold integrity. We can’t have rich individuals wielding their influence over elected representatives.

“I don’t want to see the new PH government fall as like how the previous Barisan Nasional government did due to issues like this,” Khalid told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Johor PKR only has two state lawmakers in the Johor executive council line-up.

They are International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman Jimmy Phua Wee Tse, who is also the Bukit Batu assemblyman and Johor PKR deputy chief. The other is Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar, who is also the Semerah assemblyman.

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