Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on
Three more questions on the RM50 million
Pempena Group of Companies scandals which Azalina should answer in
Parliament since non-functioning Pempena Executive Chairman Chew Mei Fun
has refused to accept accountability
Yesterday, I posed three questions on the
RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies scandals for the Tourism
Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to answer in Parliament this week
during the 2008 Budget committee stage debate on her Ministry since the
non-functioning Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk Paduka Chew Mei Fun has
clamped up and refused to accept accountability.
Today, I am posing another three questions, giving her adequate notice
to prepare for a full and adequate accounting in Parliament to show that
as Minister for Tourism, she is fully aware of her responsibilities to
live up to the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and
good governance although there are “Little Napoleons” in the Pempena
Group of Companies who behave as if public funds are their private
property which they need not account to anyone.
These additional three questions are:
Question No. 4 – Did she as Tourism Minister receive a request dated
15th October 2008 made jointly by the Pempena Executive Chairman Datuk
Paduka Chew Mei Fun and the Pempena Chief Executive Officer Datuk Idrus
Mohd for a RM5 million injection to keep Pempena afloat, although Chew
had publicly denied that there was any such application. What is the
Tourism Ministry’s position on the latest appeal by Pampena for an
annual RM5 million life-line capital injection for the next two years to
ensure Pempena’s continuous viability?
Question No. 5 – Two weeks ago, Azalina pledged from London that “there
would be no cover-up of the goings-on in Pempena” and that those who had
“cheated the government in any way” would be “severely dealt with”.
Let Azalina inform Parliament how many people implicated in the RM50
million Pempena scandals had actions taken against them, whether
disciplinary action or the institution of criminal or civil proceedings.
In particular, why no action had been taken against the Pempena official
responsible for grave criminal offence of tampering and falsification of
minutes of meetings of the Pempena Board of Directors, involving matters
like the appointment of contractors. This serious offence took place
under two former Pempena Chairman, Datuk Kee Phaik Chin and Datuk Seri
Chor Chee Heung.
No action was taken against such a grave criminal offence even in the
past three months after this was confirmed by the internal audit
submitted to the new Pempena executive chairman, Datuk Paduka Chew Mei
Fun more than three months ago. Can both Kee and Chor throw light on
this serious crime during their chairmanship of Pempena?
Question No. 6 – Azalina had in London (reported by the New Straits
Times 12th November 2008) had expressed shock and sadness that “so much
money had been invested in Pempena but the companies that promised
profits did not deliver”, asking where all the RM11 million invested in
the taxi company, Pempena Executive Taxi (PETS), went to as the company
has even failed to pay the hire purchase loan for the taxi instalments.
She also cited the financial woes of the various projects under the
Malaysian Kitchen programme.
However the review into these selected Pempana companies conducted by
PricewaterhouseCoopers Capital Sdn. Bh(PwhC) specifically excluded “any
investigative audit or forensics work” but merely “a high-level business
Who was responsible for the decision to specifically exclude PwhC from
its terms of reference any investigative audit or forensics work to
uncover fraud, irregularities and improprieties in the Pempena group of
Companies and was this part of a “cover-up” to perpetuate the culture of
impunity in the bureaucracy?
As the Pempena executive chairmd PwhC from any investigative audit or
forensics work, Azalina should tell all in Parliament.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor