Abdullah should take drastic
step to ensure that Malaysia does not celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary
in nine days’ time with the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal
stinking to high heavens
by Lim Kit Siang
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should take drastic step to ensure that Malaysia
does not celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary in nine days’ time with
the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal stinking to high
The past few days have seen more skeletons of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ
scandal coming out of the cupboards, with the Sun reporting yesterday that
the government has been placed in a position of having to divert RM4.6
billion of public funds to bail out the Port Klang Free Zone because the
Transport Ministry had given undertakings it was not authorised to do so.
The Sun reported that the Transport Ministry issued “letters of support”
which were used by the turnkey contractor -
Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) - to raise bonds and get an AAA rating
from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd.
The four letters were issued between 2003 and 2006 for the issuance of
bonds for the RM4.6 billion cost of the project.
The question Malaysians want to know is why the Transport Ministry had
illegally without sanction from the Finance Ministry issued letters of
support to enable Kuala Dimensi to issue RM4 billion worth of bonds to
cover its cost overruns, which must now be borne by the government and the
26 million Malaysians – despite the Transport Ministry’s assurance that
the PKFZ would be feasible, self-financing and would not need to involve a
single ringgit of public funding.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad has called a
PAC meeting on the PKFZ scandal to look into two concerns:
• Will it involve any government bailout; and
• Will it affect foreign investors’ confidence in other projects in
Malaysia, like the Iskandar Development Region and other developments.
The Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy will be guilty of grave
breach of parliamentary privilege if Parliament and the PAC are misled
into thinking that the issue of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout has yet to
be decided by the Cabinet – if in fact, such a decision had already been
made and taken by the Cabinet.
This is why Chan cannot continue to keep dumb on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ
scandal and must come out with a clear and unequivocal statement as to
whether the Cabinet had taken a policy decision on the bailout, and if so,
when the decision was taken and why.
Even more important, Malaysians are entitled to know why the disgraceful
culture of impunity continues to be perpetuated with no one being held
responsible for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, especially when the
government had been given a categorical assurance that the PKFZ project
would be feasible, self-financing and would not need to involve a single
ringgit of public funding.
The Transport Minister responsible for Malaysians losing RM4.6 billion of
public funds which have now to be diverted in a bailout of PKFZ project
must be brought to justice for gross negligence and criminal breach of
If Datuk Seri Ling Liong Sik who was Transport Minister until 2003 was
responsible for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, then he should be arrested
and prosecuted in court. If Chan is responsible, then let Chan be charged
for the RM4.6 billion negligence.
If both Ling and Chan are both jointly responsible, then let both be
charged in court – which is the only way to ensure that Malaysians can
celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary with some pride about our national
integrity instead of having to hang our heads in shame with the RM4.6
billion PKFZ scandal stinking to high heavens.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman