In a tit for tat move, the Penang chief minister’s strategic adviser Saifuddin Nasution has threatened the state Umno leadership with a “string of exposés” ahead of the party’s general assembly in December.

This came after Penang Umno liaison chief Zainal Abidin Osman said the “weak administration” of the opposition-lead state government would be highlighted during the assembly.

Saifuddin today urged Zainal to put his house in order before attempting to discredit the state government, pointing to a “conflict of interest” involving a GLC chaired by the latter.

He said that besides the GLC, Zainal also serves as a director in an engineering firm, and alleged that over RM3 million had been transferred between the two companies.

“The CEO in this company holds two positions, the other being a director in a private engineering consultancy firm.

“This GLC has given a lot of contracts to the private company, where the CEO is also the consultant. This is clearly a conflict of interest.

“Zainal must explain why this is allowed to happen under his watch,” Saifuddin said at a press conference in Komtar, Penang.

“So far, the GLC has given out contracts worth RM3,069,573.45 to the private company,” he added, as he waved documents which he said would back his claims.

Describing it as “only the tip of the iceberg”, Saifuddin stressed this revelation would be the first in a series of exposés ahead of the Umno general assembly.

Besides chairing the GLC in question, Zainal (photo) also serves on the board of the Penang Bumiputera Development Council, which is directly under the Finance Ministry.

Malaysiakini has sighted the documents provided by Saifuddin, and has contacted Zainal with the claims and is awaiting a response.

The documents showed that the private engineering firm hired its CEO on Dec 5, 2005, but resigned just a week later.

“However, the individual still signed cheques as the director of the private engineering company, and in this capacity, he has been communicating with the bank as recently as 2014,” claimed Saifuddin, who is also the PKR secretary-general.

“I would like to urge Zainal to rectify the situation. I would like to remind him also that he must not betray the faith and trust that the Malays placed on the two institutions he chairs.

“I will make my next move, to expose more issues involving Umno, after I get a response from Zainal,” he said.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was present at the press conference, added that “this is a big case, a clear conflict of interest”, which he said Zainal must immediately explain.

– M’kini