Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Sri Tanjung Bungah DAP Branch dinner at Tanjong Bungah Community Hall, Penang on Friday, 8th May 2009:
Ong Tee Keat should resign as Transport Minister if he cannot honour his pledge to “tell all” and immediately release the PwC report on the PKFZ scandal to explain whether and why it had ballooned from RM1.8 billion under Liong Sik to RM4.6 billion under Kong Choy and now RM12 billion
MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should resign as Transport Minister if he cannot honour his pledge to “tell all” and immediately release the PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) Report on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal to explain whether and why it had ballooned from a RM1.8 billion scandal when Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik was the Transport Minister, to RM4.6 billion under Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy and now the outrageous RM12 billion under Ong!
On Tuesday 28th April 2009, I called on the Cabinet at its meeting the next day to overrule Ong’s “passing-the-buck” game and direct the immediate and full publication of the PKFZ scandal in view of reports that the PKFZ scandal had escalated four-fold from the original cost of RM1.8 billion to RM8 billion.
The next day, Ong announced that the PwC audit report on the PKFZ scandal was ready and that the Port Klang Authority (PKA) had been given one week to make it public.
The one-week deadline expired two days ago, and the PwC report has still not seen the light of day!
I had eleven days ago asked the Cabinet to overrule and end Ong’s “passing-the-buck” game because of the MCA President’s long catalogue of broken promises to “tell all” about the PKFZ scandal since his elevation as Transport Minister after the March general election last year.
As far back as 13 months ago on April 8, 2008, the Star report headlined "Ong to tell all on Port Klang Free Zone" quoted Ong as saying:
Ong has repeatedly broken his pledge and one deadline after another on the release of the PKFZ report, including his undertaking reported by the Star (November 17, 2008) “Ministry to release PKFZ report once it gets it” after the PKA Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said that “It will be up to the Transport Minister to decide if the report will be made public” - “Probe into PKFZ scandal under way”( Star October 30 2008).
With his latest “one-week” deadline again broken, Ong is back playing the game of “passing the buck” to the PKA, whose chairman Lee Hwa Beng is giving the ridiculous explanation that the PwC report has been held back on “a technical issue” – to secure the consent PwC “subject to certain terms and conditions”.
Malaysians want Ong and Lee to know that they do not buy their latest excuses why the PwC report cannot be made public, and the Cabinet next Wednesday should just tell Ong to resign as Transport Minister if he cannot honour his pledge to “tell all” and immediately release the PwC report on the PKFZ scandal.
The Cabinet and the Malaysian public should brook no more delays or excuses as the PKFZ scandal is shaping up not only to be the biggest MCA scandal but also among the biggest Barisan Nasional financial scandals in the nation’s history.
Many were skeptical at the Edge weekly cover story on April 27 on “Total PKFZ bill – RM8 billion?”, but latest media reports indicate that the Edge expose at the time was a serious underestimate, and that the frightening figure of the final cost of the PKFZ scandal could be a whopping RM12 billion or 6.5 times the original cost of RM1.8 billion – although the Cabinet was told when it first approved the project that it would not involve a single sen of taxpayers’ monies!
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor