Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 17th November 2008: 

No PAC report on Eurocopter and no PAC investigation into HSBB and BII scandals after more than a month

No Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on its inquiry into the RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal has been tabled in Parliament today although the PAC Chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid had promised last Wednesday that the PAC report would be ready to be tabled in two or three days.

More than a month had passed since Azmi announced on Oct. 14 that the PAC would investigate into three scandals which had shook Parliament and the country – the Eurcopter helicopter, Bank International Indonesia (BII) and the high speed broadband (HSBB) deals but there has been no inquiry into the latter two apart from a most unsatisfactory inquiry into the first.

This does not reflect well on the chairman of PAC by Azmi.

Why is the PAC reluctant to go full-steam to conduct investigations into the propriety, accountability and integrity of the HSBB and BII deals?

I have just returned from Tawau and I can personally vouch that Malaysia’s present broadband network is a shame to Malaysia’s claim that boasts as being at the cutting edge of information and communications technology.

Whether in Tawau or in Klang Valley, it can be a torture to use the mobile broadbands available in the country, whether Maxis or Celcom, demonstrating Malaysia’s unique broadband contribution to the world of IT in having “snail-pace broadband”!

The PAC cannot be blind to the urgent economic need for Malaysia to catch up in having the most up-to-date broadband network and technology if we are not to lose out in the global competitiveness stakes.

Less than two months ago, Singapore awarded its next-generation high-speed broadband network (Next Gen NBN) in an international tender to the consortium, OpenNet to design and build an islandwide network offering 95 per cent of homes and offices Internet speeds of up to 1Gbps by June 2012.

What is Telekom Malaysia’s RM11.3 billion (with RM2.4 billion government subsidy) offering? Only 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps for residential customers and 10 Mbps to 1Gbps for business at high-impact economic areas and over a 10 year period till 2018!

Malaysia has already been left behind by other broadband powers like South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore and will trail even further behind with the RM11.3 billion HSBB contract to Telekom Malaysia, allowing it continued monopoly for another seven years without having to open up the last mile copper to allow other industry players to buy the “last mile” at a fair price and thus promote a full liberalisation of the telco industry.

PAC should step in now and force a review of the RM11.3 billion HSBB contract to Telekom Malaysia.

PAC Chairman Azmi will again be failing in his duty if he drags his feet and procrastinates further in conducting prompt investigations into both the HSBB and BII deals.

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