Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
on Monday, 11th August 2008:
Azmi Khalid should stand down in the
PAC inquiry into the new MRR2 flyover cracks as the MRR2 repairs
decision of previous Cabinet in 2006, of which he was member, should
also be subject of investigation
The Chairman of the Public Accounts
Committee, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid should stand down in the PAC inquiry
into the new Middle Ring Road (MRR) 2 flyover cracks as the
decision-making on the repairs of the RM238 million MRR2 by the previous
Cabinet in 2006, of which he was a member, should also be the subject of
current PAC investigations as well.
Azmi had announced after the PAC meeting this morning that the PAC will
visit the defective MRR2 flyover in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning, two
weeks after clumps of concrete and carbon fibre panels fell from the
highway pillar into the path of the oncoming cars below.
It is not only most invidious, improper but also a clear and flagrant
conflict-of-interest for Azmi to now preside over an investigation into
the two-year RM70 million repairs of the six-year RM238 MRR2, including
an examination of the rationale and justification for the final Cabinet
decision on its repairs when he was a member of that Cabinet – as the
whole repair decision-making process at various stages of
decision-making, including at the Cabinet level, raises many disturbing
questions about their propriety and wisdom.
I had raised in the previous Parliament the intense turf war between the
then Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the Public Works
Department director-general, about how, the costs and who should be
awarded the contract to carry out the MRR2 repairs, and how the Prime
Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had to personally intervene
to resolve the matter by convening a special meeting on a Friday on 3rd
February 2006, which was attended by among others the second Finance
Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcob and the then Chief Secretary Tan
Sri Samsudin Osman.
Samy Vellu won the battle against the PWD at the Feb. 3 meeting but
eventually lost the war. Although Samy Vellu announced after the meeting
that the MRR2 repair work would be supervised by the British-based
consultants Halcrow, maintaining that the costs would be RM18 million,
the turf war was finally won by the PWD at a Cabinet meeting two weeks
later which upheld the PWD’s recommendation in awarding the repair work
to German consulting firm Leonhardt Andra and Partners (LAP) at a cost
of RM40 million, which later mushroomed mysteriously to RM70 million!
In its current investigations into the new MRR2 flyover cracks, Azmi
should turn witness at the PAC meeting by giving a full account of how
many Cabinet meetings had been held to discuss the MRR2 repairs from
2004-2006, why the contract for the repairs was finally awarded to LAP
instead of Halcrow, and the more-than-triple the original repair costs
from RM18 million to RM70 million.
The PAC of the previous Parliament met at least six times over the MRR2
cracks since 2004 but to very little purpose.
It raised many questions which to date have been ignored by the various
departments. Furthermore, a study of the PAC records indicate that some
public officials had also committed parliamentary contempt in concealing
important information from and misleading the PAC in its investigations
into the MRR2 flyover cracks scandal.
Will another PAC meeting into the MRR2 flyover in Kepong make any
difference this time?
The PAC of the previous Parliament was repeatedly assured by the Works
Ministry and the Public Works Department that the MRR2 contractor Bumi
Highway would have to pay for the full repairs cost, i.e. RM70 million.
But this is an empty assurance, as up to now the bill had been foot in
full by the Malaysian taxpayers and not a single sen had been paid by
This should be one area which PAC should investigate to demand Cabinet
accountability and responsibility – and why it is improper for Azmi to
be involved in the current PAC investigations because he was a member of
the previous Cabinet and should be in the dock!
For this reason, the current PAC investigations into the new MRR2
flyover cracks should be chaired by the Deputy PAC Chairman, Dr. Tan
Seng Giaw (MP for Kepong).
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor