Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Penang on Wednesday, 3rd June 2009:
Isn’t the submission of PwC PKFZ audit report to MACC just PR gimmick when Ong Tee Keat knows the four previous police/ACA reports by Ronnie Liu on PKFZ had come to nothing and when he himself is not prepared to take action against Chor Chee Heung?
This is the fifth consecutive day of three daily questions to the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) Rip-off, in response to the public announcement and invitation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he had directed Ong “to provide answers on every question raised by any party” on the PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)’s audit report on the PKFZ.
Although Ong had responded valiantly to Najib’s directive with the bravado statement that he was honoured with Najib’s trust in him, the MCA President had let down the Prime Minister badly in failing to answer adequately and satisfactorily a single one of the 12 questions I had posed in the past four days on the PKFZ.
I do not know whether Najib will have to end Ong’s misery by coming out publicly to withdraw his public invitation and directive to Ong to “provide answers on every question raised by any party” on the PwC’s report on PKFZ, but until then I propose to continue with the three daily questions to Ong on the PKFZ.
When the PwC audit report on the PKFZ was released publicly last Thursday, Ong secured a lot of publicity by directing the Port Klang Authority Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng to submit a copy of the report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC).
My first question to Ong today is whether the submission of PwC PKFZ audit report to MACC wasn’t just PR (public relations) gimmick when Ong knew that the four previous police/ACA reports by Selangor DAP leader Ronnie Liu on PKFZ had come to nothing and when he himself as MCA President was not prepared to take action against the MCA deputy finance minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung?
The Anti-Corruption Agency had been completely ineffective and impotent despite the lodging of four police/ACA reports on the PKFZ by Ronnie Liu between December 2004 and August 2007, while the PKFZ scandal escalated from a RM1.1 billion scandal in 2002 under Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister, more than quadrupling to RM4.6 billion under Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as Transport Minister and now mushrooming into the astronomical figure of RM7.5 billion and even reaching RM12.5 billion scandal under Ong’s watch.
Does Ong believe he could claim that he had done his full duty as Transport Minister and could wash his hands of the PKFZ Rip-off by just sending the PwC’s PKFZ report to the MACC?
PwC admitted that its audit report was based on information gathered from a number of sources, including the MACC (formerly ACA) as some of the principal sources about the PKFZ, like “books, minutes, agreements, reports, notices of payments, accounts, certificates, financial statements, forecasts and projections, valuations, print-outs” were kept in the office of the MACC.
So we have the ridiculous situation of the PwC having to depend among others, on the MACC for the principal sources of information, to produce a report which is now submitted to MACC for its study – a merry-go-round in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ Rip-off without a single person being brought to book for the “Mother of all Scandals” in Malaysian history.
Last Friday, when PKA Chairman Lee Hwa Beng submitted a copy of PwC’s PKFZ report to the MACC, the MACC director of investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul said MACC has completed its initial investigations into the PKFZ project and handed over the papers to its Legal and Prosecution Division for further action.
He said the Commission would compare its findings with that of the audit team to see if there was any new lead.
He said: “If there is a need for us to call up certain people named in the report, we will do so.”
Has the MACC decided whether the PwC’s audit report on PKFZ has provided any new lead to justify the re-opening of investigations?
Why is the MACC taking its own sweet time to act on the PwC report which concerns “the mother of all scandals” scaling the astronomical heights of RM12.5 billion when it could spring into action in a matter of hours in cases involving Pakatan Rakyat leaders, even in situations where there is the flimsiest of excuses for MACC intervention?
I am interested in knowing what Shukri really meant when he said last Friday that the MACC had completed its “initial investigations” into the PKFZ and handed over the papers to the Legal and Prosecution Division for further action.
As Ronnie’s first report was lodged in December 2004, why had the Commission and its predecessor the ACA taken such an inordinately long time of more than four-and-a-half years and still unable to produce any results?
When did the MACC complete its “initial investigations” into the PKFZ and when were the papers handed over to its Legal and Prosecution Division for further action?
My second question to Ong today is why the MCA has not taken any action to suspend the MCA deputy finance minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung, who was PKA Chairman from April 2007 to March 2008, as the PwC audit report had named him as one of those involved in potential conflicts of interest.
The MCA, through its leadership of the PKA and the Transport Ministry through three successive MCA Transport Ministers Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy and Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and four MCA PKA Chairmen, Datuk Seri Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, Datuk Chor Chee Heung and Datuk Lee Hwa Beng have brought deep shame and great dishonour to Malaysians and the country with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ Rip-Off.
This itself should be reason enough, apart from others, for the immediate suspension of Chor as Deputy Finance Minister until he is fully cleared.
My third question – have the present PKA Chairman, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng and the PKA Board members no powers whatsoever to decide on whether to submit the PwC audit report on PKFZ to the MACC and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), that they have to be led by the nose by Ong who had to issue specific directives to Lee on the matter?
If so, what is the use of having puppets as PKA Chairmen and Board members – and isn’t this the strongest proof why it is the MCA Transport Ministers, rather than the MCA PKA Chairmen, who must bear the fullest responsibility for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ Rip-Off from start to finish?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor