Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 16th June 2009:
Where in France have you gone to, Tee Keat, that you dare not announce your overseas programme and travel plans?
My three questions (No.52 to No. 54 on the 18th day in the current series) to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal today are: No. 1. – Where in France have you gone to, Tee Keat, that you dare not reveal to Parliament and the Malaysian public your actual programme of activities in Paris and your travel plans?
Is it because you know that if your overseas programme is made public, you will be nailed as an utterly irresponsible Minister who could run away from his first duty to account to Parliament on the “scandal of scandals”, the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal on the most ridiculous pretext of an overseas trip.
When was your Paris programme finalized. Didn’t you know in advance that the June meeting of Parliament would start yesterday and that the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal will be high on the parliamentary issues of priority?
No. 2 – It is reported that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has directed the Transport Minister to make a ministerial statement on the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal in Parliament on Monday.
Does Ong agree that this is most embarrassing for a Minister who is also the MCA President, that he does not know the right and proper thing he should do in Parliament, i.e. make a ministerial statement on the PKFZ scandal on the first day of Parliament yesterday.
This must be the first time in the history of the MCA where the MCA President has to be directed by the Prime Minister and Umno President to make a Ministerial statement in Parliament. How embarrassing indeed!
Ong had already embarrassed himself and Najib by openly failing to live up to the Prime Minister’s bold public declaration on 29th May 2009 that his government welcomed all questions about the PKFZ scandal and that Ong will will answer “every question raised by any party”.
I had asked whether Ong could ensure that his ministerial statement would be followed by a one-day debate, but there has been thunderous silence from him.
Ong cannot pretend that he is overseas and does not know about my question.
I believe Ong has made arrangements that within minutes of my daily “three questions on the PKFZ scandal”, he would be informed about them, word for word, as in this era of instant communications information travels at the speed of light. Or is Ong claiming he is really cut off from what is happening in the country and does not know developments, in particular my daily three-questions to him on the PKFZ scandal?
No.3 – Is Ong prepared to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to answer all queries about the PKFZ scandal to set the example to all Cabinet Ministers that they must accept full and final responsibility for their respective ministries – a common feature in developed parliamentary democracies where Ministers have no problem in appearing before their PAC but never done in Malaysia?
If this is done by Ong, the two former Transport Ministers, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy would be pressured to come forward to account for their roles, whether in PAC or elsewhere, in the “mother of all scandals” of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal – which will be a major step in advancing the cause of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance in Malaysia.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor