Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 11st
Public inquiry into the RM70 million High Performance Training Centre (HPTC)
folly in Brickendonbury outside London as an object lesson to all
Ministers, MPs and civil servants on the do’s and don’ts if the
government is serious about accountability, transparency and good
Finally, the proposed High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in
Brickendonbury outside London, originally slated to cost RM490 million
but later scaled down and projected to cost RM70 million, has been laid
The reasons given by the new Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail
Sabri Yaakob scrapping the HPTC project is exactly what critics and
opponents of the project had said both in and out of Parliament – that
it is an extravagant and unnecessary expenditure which had nothing to do
with raising the standards of Malaysian sports!
A special tribute must be given to crusading journalists like R.
Nadeswaran who had persevered in their high-quality investigative
journalism under the most difficult of circumstances to expose the
series of lies, half-truths and misinformation which proponents of the
project had been spinning in the country in support of the folly.
Although Ismail said he was checking on the amount incurred on
consultants, travel and other expenses in pursuing the project, giving
an undertaking that they will be made public, it is most extraordinary
that the new Sports Minister has difficulty in getting the latest update
of the total expenditures on the project.
There is no reason why Ismail could not have got these figures as he had
been appointed Sports Minister for more than four weeks, with three
intervening Cabinet meetings. Furthermore, there is only a change of a
Minister and no change of government with consequential disappearance of
files, as happened in some of the states were the Barisan Nasional had
lost state power. .
The end of the HTPC folly is one direct consequence of the March 8
political tsunami, removing not only the Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds
parliamentary majority and control in five state governments but also
its “high-and-mighty” attitude that it could do no wrong and could do
what it liked with its electoral mandate from the people.
There should be a public inquiry into the folly of the RM70 million HPTC
in Brickendonbury outside London as an object lesson to all Ministers,
MPs and civil servants on the do’s and don’ts if the government is
serious about accountability, transparency and good governance – to
establish how many millions of ringgit have actually been wasted and
misspent as well as to pin down the lies, half-truths and misinformation
which had been spouted in the past two years by government officials and
committees – representing one of the worst examples of bad governance of
the Abdullah premiership.
Kit Siang, MP for Ipoh Timor & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman