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Why Keng Yaik chop-and-change now claiming Syabas water concession is OSA when he had told CAWP last year that it was not OSA?

Media Statement  
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Petaling Jaya, Sunday) : Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said on Wednesday that it was up to the Cabinet to decide whether to make public the water concession agreement or the audited accounts of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) which are classified under the Official Secrets Act.


Earlier, on January 9, the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the Cabinet has to give the green light for highway concessionaires to reveal details of toll collection and the volume of traffic. He said he will bring it up to the cabinet on whether to allow highway concessionaires to release these figures and added:  “If the cabinet agrees, we will ask the companies involved to come out with the details.”


There are four  questions: Why should these privatization agreements and documents continue to be kept secret and denied scrutiny by Parliament, the civil society and the Malaysian citizenry, if the Abdullah administration really believes in accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance.


Secondly, have Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu raised these issues in the Cabinet, as it is no use their saying that the Cabinet must decide on the issue when they do not bring it to  the Cabinet and  the issue is never raised for a  Cabinet decision.


Thirdly, as Ministers responsible for water and highways respectively, what is  the stand of Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu on making public the relevant privatization contracts, documents and data – whether Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu are individually in support of making the documents public or are against it, whether they hold the position that it is in the public and national interest to put  these documents in the public domain, and if not, why not.  It is no use Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu passing the buck to the Cabinet on the final decision when they as the Ministers directly responsible for the respective subjects are aligned against the forces calling for more open, responsible and accountable government.


Fourthly, a specific question for Keng Yaik.  Why did he chop-and-change in now claiming that he is prevented by the Official Secrets Act (OSA)  to make public  the concession agreement with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor,  when at one of his dialogues with the Coalition Against Privatisation of Water (CAWP) in the middle of last year on the Water Services Industry Bill, he specifically stated that the Syabas concession agreement did not come under the OSA?


Will Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu end their game of “passing-the-buck” and specifically advocate at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting for the relevant concession agreements and documentation relating to water and highway privatization  to be made public?



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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