Contd Speech by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Wednesday, 24th June 2009 on the Finance Minister’s motion to reallot 2009 Budget among the various Ministries following the 10th April 2009 Cabinet reshuffle
RM12.5 billiion PKFZ scandal – Parliament entitled to know the reasons why the Cabinet chopped and changed week-by-week its decision in October/November 2002 on the PKFZ land issue
Today’s Star under the report “PKFZ probe under wraps for now” reads:
Malaysian Anti-Corruption (MACC) is not obliged to disclose the progress of investigations into the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
PAC member William Leong (PKR-Selayang) said MACC Commissioner had informed the PAC that the PKFZ issue was still under probe and Section 29 of the MACC Act 2008 does not allow the commission to disclose any information about the investigation to the PAC.
Unfortunately we were unable to get any information as to the situation of the investigation, when the investigation will end and whether any action would be taken against anyone,” he said.
Leong said he was disappointed with MACC’s reply, adding that several reports over the PKFZ were lodged with MACC, or ACA, since w2004.
Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamdan had spent an hour at the PAC meeting yesterday but did not reveal the investigation into the alleged irregularities in PKFZ.”
What the MACC Chief Commissioner had committed is no less than parliamentary contempt in refusing to co-operate with the PAC in its investigations into the PKFZ scandal.
Why is Ahmad suddenly so shy about reporting the progress of MACC investigations into the PKFZ scandal when he had no hesitation to go to the public about MACC investigations into the allegations of abuses of power and corrupt practices against the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim over cars and cows?
The MACC should rightly stand for “Malaysian Agency for Cars and Cows”!
The MACC has proved its utter lack of independence when it could be dragooned into serving the Barisan Nasional political agenda in its illegal power grab in Perak to harass the legitimate Pakatan Rakyat Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar.
The Star today has another report, headlined: “Lim Know the facts, say Ong, which reads:
PETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang deliberately misled the Dewan Rakyat on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue despite knowing the facts of the project, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said.
Ong said Lim knew about the RM25 per square foot land purchase as he was engaged in the debate in Parliament, in 2007.
“He rudely interrupted my ministerial statement by accusing me of not referring to the Cabinet decision on Oct 23, 2002, that the land should be acquired at a lower price of RM10.16 per square foot.
“What Kit Siang conveniently omitted to mention was that the decision on Oct 23, was subsequently superseded by the Cabinet in its meeting on Nov 6, 2002,” he said in his blog (www.teekeat.net) yesterday.
Ong challenged Lim to admit that he had deliberately misled and confused the public by failing to disclose the full and proper account of Cabinet decisions on the PKFZ project.
“The DAP leader may not be a Cabinet member but the Parliamentary Hansard, dated Sept 4, 2007, clearly recorded that the decision of the Cabinet on Oct 2, 2002 to purchase the land at RM25 per square foot continued to stand for the reasons mentioned in my parliamentary statement,” he said.
Ong said Lim knew this and he was in fact engaged in a debate on this matter on Sept 4, 2007.
“He even posted excerpts of the Hansard in his blog the very next day.
“And yet he chose to suppress this important fact from the public for the sake of a political gimmick bent on rescuing his fading political career,” Ong said.
I find this accusation by Ong, more appropriately referred to as the Minister for Air Shows, most astounding.
It must be the first case not only in Malaysia but in Commonwealth parliamentary history where a Cabinet Minister accuses an Opposition MP for not telling the whole truth about Cabinet decisions on a project, in this case the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal!
Ong claims to be incensed that I had not mentioned the Nov. 6, 2002 Cabinet meeting when he was presenting his Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday.
How could I do so when even to mention the Oct. 23, 2002 Cabinet decision, there were so many protests and objections from the Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs, led by Ong himself.
Did Ong allow me to talk and reveal more? Didn’t he take the position that with regard to his ministerial statement, no question or interruptions were allowed?
Yes, I knew about the November 4, 2002 Cabinet meeting, but it was Ong who misled Parliament with a selective account in his Ministerial statement while refusing to allow me to say anything to correct him.
This is why I had challenged Ong to give a full account of all the Cabinet meetings and decisions in connection with the PKFZ project all the way back to 1999, especially the Cabinet decisions of October/November 2002 and July 2007.
PKFZ concerns not only the Transport Ministry but also the Finance Ministry. I hereby ask the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Awang Adek, who was also the Deputy Finance Minister in 2007, to give a full account in his reply of all the Cabinet meetings and decisions on PKFZ right from the very beginning.
In particular, Awang should state whether he could confirm the following Cabinet meetings and decisions:
On 2nd October 2002, Cabinet agreed to the purchase of the land for the PKFZ project based on Transport Minister’s information that the project was viable and did not require any government financial assistance and that legal issues surrounding the land concerned had been resolved.
On 9th October Cabinet agreed to defer implementation of the Oct. 2 decision, pending reports by Finance Ministry and Attorney-General’s Chambers.
On 16th Oct. 2002, Cabinet informed of Attorney-General’s position that the land had too many encumbrances and “willing buyer, willing seller” transaction not proper. Finance Ministry asked to submit report.
On 23rd October 2002, Cabinet agreed that land be acquired by Transport Ministry under section 3(1)(a) of Land Acquisition Act 1960 at RM10.16 psf. Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) to be given the opportunity to level and build basic infrastructure at a price to be negotiated and to be finalized by the Finance Ministry if it is above RM100 million. Among the reasons why the Cabinet reversed the Oct. 2, 2002 decision were:
1. The land has too many encumbrances with at least eight charges and five caveats and that Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSD) had made misrepresentation which may be fraudulent misrepresentation;
2. That the issue of “willing buyer and willing seller” does not arise as KDSB was unable to transfer title free from encumbrance to the government;
3. That from corporate information, KDSB was a company with bank liabilities.
On 6th November, 2002 Cabinet reversed its decision of Oct. 23, 2002 and upheld its Oct. 2, 2002 decision.
Parliament is entitled to know what were the reasons which caused the Cabinet to chop and change week-by-week its decision on the PKFZ land question, which has landed the country with a RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
(to be continued)
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor