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Heads must roll, whether in Cabinet, Finance or Transport Ministry for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal or the Abdullah premiership’s campaign for integrity, accountability and good governance will be completely in tatters
(Parliament, Saturday): The RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal will be top agenda in the forthcoming parliamentary meeting – as I have submitted a question asking the Finance Minister to explain in the first week of next Parliament later this month why the multi-billion ringgit malpractices and cost overruns were not checked despite warnings from Attorney-General and Auditor-General.
I also wanted to know whether the Federal Government has now decided to bail out the RM4.6 billion PKFZ project with taxpayers’ money.
It is most regrettable and irresponsible on the part of both the Finance Minister and Transport Minister that they had maintained a deafening silence despite many disturbing reports in the past two months about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – in particular recent reports in Malaysiakini and Singapore Business Times, viz:
Has the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi given his approval for the first multi-billion ringgit bail-out operation in his premiership?
The question Parliament and Malaysians want to know is why should the public coffers be taxed to bail out the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal when the project was from the beginning conceived to be self-financing, without having to use a single sen of public funds?
The next question is why nobody in Cabinet, the Finance Ministry and the Transport Ministry is being held responsible for the RM4.6 billion scandal, when those responsible for such a colossal loss of public funds should not only face disciplinary action but should be hauled to court to face the full consequences of their RM4.6 billion misdeeds?
As the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal is the first mega scandal to erupt in his premiership, Abdullah must ensure that there is no continued culture of impunity with him adhering fully with the principles of responsibility, accountability and transparency in accordance with the National Integrity Plan which he launched in May 2004.
Heads must roll for the RM4.6 billion scandal before any bail-out for the mega-scandal can be contemplated by Cabinet and Parliament.
Abdullah should realize that if Malaysians continue to see the perpetuation of the culture of impunity like previous mega scandals of “heinous crimes without criminals”, the Prime Minister’s campaign for integrity, accountability and good governance will be completely in tatters.
Furthermore, he will be personally assuming responsibility for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal since he will be seen to be protecting all those whether in Cabinet, Finance Ministry or Transport Ministry who should be bearing responsibility for the PKFZ scandal.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman