Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 22nd December 2008: 

Tee Kiat has taken Malaysians for a ride in his long-awaited “tell all” report to the nation on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal 

I would not have used the strong and harsh language in response to the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat’s long-awaited “tell all” report on the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, like the doyen of Port Klang bloggers, Capt. Yusof Ahmad, former pilot superintendent of Klang Port Authority and pioneer general manager of West Port, who delivered this censure in his blog, Ancient Mariner:

“If this isnt treachery and deceit, then I dont know what is.”

Or another blogger, de minimis, who who exclaimed tongue-in-cheek:

“I also hear that most hardware shops in the Klang Valley ran out of stock with white paint for the whitewash needed for the Minister's Press Conference...”

There can be no doubt however that Ong had taken Malaysians for a ride in his long-awaited “tell all” report to the nation on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – as it told absolutely nothing from what he promised when he was appointed Transport Minister after the March 8 “political tsunami”.

In one of his first statements on the PKFZ scandal on becoming Transport Minister, Ong had promised:

“I wish to inform the rakyat about the true situation – whether it was actually squandered, not squandered, and whether it has gone to, as well as the breakdown of the budget.”

Ong has failed to deliver on this pledge.

He could not even answer the five questions about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal which I had posed to him immediately after his public pledge to “tell all” about PKFZ, particularly about the history of impropriety in land transactions, illegal issue of Letters of Support, Cabinet bailouts and retrospective ratification of illegal decisions by the two previous Transport Ministers, Tun Liong Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Chong Kong Choy although he had all the answers without having to await the outcome of the PricewaterhouseCooper audit report.

Ong had failed to “walk the talk” to “tell all” about the PKFZ scandal. Instead he was swaggering in his white-wash of the PKFZ scandal.

He knew for instance that the two previous Transport Ministers had acted unlawfully in issuing the four Letters of Support to Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd, the PKFZ turkey contractor, to raise RM4 billion bonds, which were regarded as government guarantees by the market – which was why the Cabinet had to subsequently give retrospective approval for the unlawful and unauthorized four Letters of Support creating a RM4.6 billion liability for the government in the bailout of PKFZ.

Can Ong deny that there was such retrospective Cabinet approval in the middle of last year for the unlawful and unauthorized four Letters of Support issued by the two previous Transport Ministers?

Ong does not need to await any PricewaterhouseCooper report to admit this important fact as he should be fully aware of it.

Ong should be forewarned that his reputation for Ministerial accountability, transparency and integrity risk being buried by the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, if he continues to be seen as being a party to a cover-up to prevent a full disclosure of the PKFZ scandal.

Ong can still salvage his Ministerial reputation but time is running out, quick and fast.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor