Media Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 4th June 2009:
Ong Tee Keat’s “roadmap to recovery of PKFZ” reminds me eerily of Myanmar military junta’s “seven-step roadmap to democracy” which leads to nowhere!
Transport Minister and MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat blogged a response from Beijing to my 15 questions (three per day) on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) Rip-Off but he was forced to camouflage his failure to honour the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s directive and promise of a question-by-question reply as well as very weak and insipid contents by very harsh language and distractions.
“…a knee jerk reaction which spells of political agenda and defeatist attitude”.
“It will save people a lot of time not to repeat ourselves for the benefit of self-serving politicians”.
“I see no reason to waste valuable time to engage in fruitless public debates of any form that does not help to solve the problems”.
“… public debates are the opposition's obvious idea of resolving all the country's ills”.
Just four quotes from his short statement. What character of the man, at least for this moment, do they reveal?
Pompous. Arrogant. Quite insufferable. Worse than Najib on all three scores!
This speaks a lot for Ong Tee Keat, illustrating again the truism of historian Lord Acton’s maxim “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
I will not respond in kind except to remark that public debates, forum, scrutiny and accountability do not end up in Rip-offs like the RM12.5 billion PKFZ “mother of all scandals” – which is six times more than Tun Mahathir’s classic scandal, the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal.
I have goose pimples reading Ong’s reply, as his so-called “roadmap to recovery of PKFZ” reminds me eerily of Myanmar military junta’s “seven-step roadmap to democracy” which leads to nowhere!
It is six years since the Myanmar military junta first introduced to the world community the cruel euphemism of “roadmap to democracy” but the benighted land has never been further from national reconciliation and democratisation, with the Burmese pro-democracy icon and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate currently undergoing a sham trial in a kangaroo court in a country which is no different from a prison!
So my first question today (No. 16th in the series) is what guarantee Ong can give Malaysians that his “roadmap to recovery of PKFZ” will not end up like the Myanmese military junta’s “seven-step roadmap to democracy” after six years – as had in fact happened previously to the PKFZ itself, when 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!
Ong said: “When billions of ringgit and the future of our children are at stake, we should take this situation very seriously and make wise decisions based on the best input available from relevant parties.”
My second question to Ong is whether he is suggesting that his two predecessors as Transport Minister, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy and the three previous Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairmen, Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon and Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung had all failed to pass this test of taking their trust over billions of ringgit and the future of our children “seriously” and making “wise decisions based on the best input available”?
If this coterie of five MCA leaders who had helmed the Transport Ministry and the Port Klang Authority since 2,000 had acted seriously and responsibly based on “best wise advice available”, Malaysia and her 27 million people and future generations would not be burdened with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ Rip-0ff.
On the other hand, if Liong Sik, Kong Choy, Chew Peh, Pian Hon and Chee Heung had acted irresponsibility in landing the country and people with the PKFZ “mother of all scandals”, why Ong had not said a single word about the action that must taken against all five or any one of them so that the RM12.5 billion PKFZ Rip-off would not end up as the century’s “heinous crime without criminals”?
Ong said: “At this very moment, professional experts and entrepreneurs have been roped in to provide their views and expertise on how to bring PKFZ back on track for which it was originally conceived.”
What was conceived was a RM1.1 billion self-financing and viable PKFZ which would not require a single sen of subsidy from public funds. It has now transformed into a monster which may require RM12.5 billion bailout from public funds!
In any event, is this a confession by Ong that for 15 months since becoming Transport Minister after the March 8 political tsunami last year, he had been “sitting still and playing rhetoric” while doing nothing to put in place a series of action plans to lessen the pain on taxpayers – except to pass the buck to the PricewaterhouseCoopers to do an audit report, which is promptly passed to the MACC and the PAC for public relations effect?
This is my third question for the day.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor