Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Monday, 22nd June 2009:
Will Ong Tee Keat tender apology in next 24 hours for misleading Parliament in his eight-minute Ministerial statement on PKFZ scandal or I will move motion to refer him to Committee of Privileges
My three questions (No.70 to No. 72 on the 24th 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:
Question 1: Ong was a real disappointment with his Ministerial non-statement in Parliament on the PKFZ scandal in Parliament this morning.
His so-called Ministerial statement took eight minutes but he needed 40 minutes (i.e. five times the time he took in Parliament) in his press conference in the Parliament lobby to explain his Ministerial non-statement!
Why didn’t he spend these 40 minutes to give a proper, meaningful and comprehensive statement on the “mother of all scandals” in his Ministerial statement in Parliament on the PKFZ scandal, especially as the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Dr. Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar had told the press the previous day that there is no time limit to a ministerial statement and that the minister could take as long as he wanted?
I was quite impressed with Ong when I read the Chinese media reports of his statement yesterday that he welcomed questions and a debate on the PKFZ scandal during his ministerial statement in Parliament, and together with Wan Junaidi’s explanation, I had expected a very long session on the subject today.
Instead, despite repeated attempts on my part to seek clarification, Ong refused to yield the floor which caused my caustic remark in Parliament that Ong was “a hero outside but a coward in Parliament”.
Even worse, Ong’s ministerial statement was not a “tell all” but a “tell nothing” statement, revealing nothing that the public did not know about the PKFZ scandal.
Ong even misled the House when he said that the Cabinet, on Oct. 2, 2002, made the decision to allow the Port Klang Authority (PKA) to purchase 1,000 acres of land for RM1.08 billion at RM25 psf based on the position of the Selangor state government that the land could not be acquired under Section 3(1)(a) of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 because PKFZ was not a public project.
I immediately pointed out that Ong had misled Parliament as he had not referred to the Cabinet decision three weeks later on Oct. 23, 2002, that the land should be acquired by the Transport Ministry through land acquisition under Section 3(1)(a) of the Land Acquisition Act at the price of RM10.16 psf.
Ong could not deny what I said but he was not prepared to confirm either – another instance of Ministerial irresponsibility and cowardice.
My first question to Ong is whether he would admit that he had deliberately misled Parliament about the Cabinet decision on the land acquisition of the PKFZ by failing to give a full and proper account of Cabinet decisions on the PKFZ project, and whether he would apologise for such parliamentary contempt and breach of privilege.
If Ong fails to tender a public apology in the next 24 hours, I will submit a motion to refer Ong to the Committee of Privileges for violating Standing Order 36(12) in deliberately misleading the House.
This what Deputy Speaker Junaidi said is the option before me, based on his understanding of the British War Minister, John Profumo scandal in the House of Commons when Profumo made a ministerial statement in Parliament which proved to be incorrect and untrue.
Question No. 2 – In his 8-minute Ministerial statement, Ong did not spent a single second on the causes and culprits of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal. Is he suggesting that the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal – five times the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal – is a “heinous crime without criminals”?
Ong had told the Chinese media more than once that there is a need to restore PKFZ project “from death to life”. Who are the people who caused to RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal to “die” that it has to be brought back to life?
How is Ong to reconcile with the reputation that he is an uncompromising fighter against all forms of abuses of power, misuse of public funds and corrupt practices when he dare not even say a word about the causes and culprits of the PKFZ “scandal of scandals”?
Question No. 3: As the 83 Pakatan Rakyat MPs had all stood up at the end of Ong’s Ministerial statement in an unprecedented rejection of Ong’s Ministerial statement, is Ong prepared to give a second Ministerial statement in Parliament tomorrow or later this week to give a proper and satisfactory account of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor