In the spotlight - Derek, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalib Ibrahim and Latheefa. What really led to Latheefa's resignation? Graphics by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole
KUALA LUMPUR : Petaling Jaya City councillor Derek Fernandez has labeled controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin as someone without credibility.
In a recent interview with The Mole, Derek said : “He (Raja Petra) is only using the readers' ignorance when he writes and there's no truth in his articles whatsoever.”
Derek was responding to RPK's recent article that alleged the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) of awarding legal contracts to a group of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) lawyers.
The blogger alleged that MBPJ had outsourced the council’s legal works to PKR lawyers such as Latheefa Koya and R.Sivarasa who are from the Messrs Daim & Gamany firm.
He also alleged that legal fees amounted up to RM102, 000 in 2009 and RM83,000 in 2010.
The Mole had reported that Sivarasa denied securing a legal job from MBPJ, claiming that the law firm only proposed a fee of RM15, 000 but did not get the job.
Raja Petra alleged that with the influence of Derek alongside Latheefa who was former MBPJ councillor, legal work had been awarded to PKR leaders and their firms.
Raja Petra had also alleged that there had been an abuse of power by Latheefa who is PKR’s Legal Affairs bureau chief in the case of the Syabas Club (now known as PJ Palms Sports Centre) repairs and management to Sepang Mekar Sdn Bhd.
“She (Latheefa) was one of the finest ladies when it came to performing her duties as councillor, she worked very hard for the community expecting nothing much in return,’’ Derek added.
When asked about the investigation status by Selangor Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) into Syabas Club which was claimed to be charging an exorbitant amount to proprietors, Derek said : “Selcat has dismissed the matter stating there is no case.’’
This issue was brought up by the late Bukit Gasing assemblyman, Edward Lee where he pushed Selcat to investigate further into the matter. However, Raja Petra claimed that investigations were halted as soon as Lee passed away last year.
Bloggers The Unspinners carried all four parts of Raja Petra's documented claims on the above allegations.
The series also included Derek’s denial that he had influenced the council in assigning work to any firm or lawyer.
Latheefa's resignation as PJ councillor on July 16 was reportedly due to an internal email concerning housing for the poor between her and Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
It was reported that Latheefa had critised Khalid’s administration and the state government on issues involving squatters while expressing her disappointment with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and several other PKR leaders.
Latheefa had also denied resigning due to reasons related to MBPJ.