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Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 17th September 2009: 

Best Hari Raya present Najib can give country is to declassify all Cabinet minutes and documents relating to PKFZ scandal to demonstrate his commitment to accountability, integrity and good governance

In the past five-and-a-half months of his premiership, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had made valiant attempts to project his administration’s commitment to reform, accountability, integrity and good governance as exemplified by his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”, his website, walkabouts and his emphasis on KPIs with the appointment of two KPI Ministers.

But all these efforts by Najib had failed to convince the Malaysian public that the Prime Minister is committed or capable of fundamental change in government.

One important reason is the long drawn-out farce of the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal – resulting in the public fallout between the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) Chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing who is also the CEO of the PKFZ turnkey contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd and other political skirmishes in MCA, Umno and Barisan Nasional.

For the past three consecutive days, fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has published on his website Malaysia Today documents including Cabinet papers throwing light on the extent of Cabinet involvement in the PKFZ scandal, snowballing from a RM1.1 billion scandal in 2002 under Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister to RM4.6 billion in 2006 under Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy and now set to become a RM12.5 billion scandal under Ong Tee Keat.

Does the Prime Minister deny the veracity and authenticity of the official and Cabinet documents about the PKFZ scandal revealed by Raja Petra on his website, whether they fall under the Official Secrets Act or otherwise?

Have these documents been brought to the attention of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigating into the PKFZ scandal, and if not, isn’t it right and proper that the PAC should extend its sessions on testimony from witnesses to bring these documents within its cognizance before reaching its end stage to formulate its conclusions and findings for submission to Parliament?

The person most suitable to be summoned by the PAC to throw light on these official and Cabinet documents would be none other than the Cabinet Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan who was appointed to the highest civil service position in September 2006.

In fact, the PAC should question Mohd Sidek to find out why in the past two years he had failed to carry out the Cabinet decision to investigate and take the necessary action against those responsible for landing the government and country with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal – especially on the unlawful issue of the four Letters of Support by the former Transport Ministers, Ling and Chan!

The failure of the PAC to summon Mohd Sidek to give testimony in its inquiry into the PKFZ scandal will be a major and even fatal one affecting the credibility and acceptability of the final PAC report.

In fact, it is precisely because of Mohd Sidek’s failure to carry out the Cabinet’s decision in 2007 to investigate and take the necessary actions against the culprits of the PKFZ scandal that there is widespread skepticism and cynicism about the Super Task Force under his chairmanship into the PKFZ scandal announced by Najib last week – as it smacks of being a Super “Cover-Up” Task force more than anything else.

For this reason, the PAC should suspend its deliberations on its conclusions on the PKFZ inquiry to summon the Chief Secretary as Mohd Sidek’s testimony can completely change the entire character of the PAC’s findings, especially in the light of the official and Cabinet documents published by Raja Petra on his website in the past three days.

The best Hari Raya present Najib can give the country on his first Hari Raya as Prime Minister is to declassify all Cabinet minutes and documents on the PKFZ scandal to send out two unmistakable messages to the nation and the world , viz

  • his commitment to accountability, integrity and good governance and that he and his administration have nothing to fear or hide in the PKFZ scandal; and

  • an end to the culture of impunity and that no one implicated in the PKFZ “mother of all scandals”, regardless of his position or status, whether in MCA, Umno or any Barisan Nasional party, is above the law and will be brought to justice so that the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal will not end up as another “heinous crime without criminals” like the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal three decades ago.

Otherwise, the coming Hari Raya holidays will be another gloomy one in terms of public accountability, integrity and good governance.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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