by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 21st
PAC should investigate into RM50 million
Pempena scandals and the role of two Ministers and three Pempena
Chairmen during the period – Tengku Adnan, Azalina Othman, Kee Phaik
Chin, Chor Chee Heung and Chew Mei Fund in the multi-million ringgit
fraud and criminal breach of trust of tourist promotion projects
The Public Accounts Commtitee (PAC) should
investigate into the RM50 million Pempena scandals and the role of two
Ministers and three Pempena Chairmen during the period, Datuk Seri
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, Datuk Kee Phaik
Chin, Datuk Chor Chee Heung and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun in the sorry
tale of the multi-million ringgit fraud and criminal breach of trust of
tourist promotion projects.
Current Pempena Sdn. Bhd executive chairman Chew Mei Fun convened a
special media conference on Wednesday to declare that she would not
answer and was not responsible for the RM50 million Pempena Group of
Companies as what she wanted was to “focus on revamping the company”.
However, Chew has still to explain whether it is true that she was
appointed to her RM10,000-a-month position in Pempena in mid-May but her
appointment was backdated to April 1, 2008 – and whether she would
return some six weeks’ pay as Pempena Chairman when she had not yet
taken up the position.
Furthermore, Chew must explain why she had failed as Pempena executive
chairman as she was unable to answer a simple question at the media
conference whether “heads will roll” and action will be taken against
those in the Tourism Ministry for the tens of millions of ringgit of
losses because of fraud and criminal breach of trust.
Chew’s inability to give a simple answer whether those responsible for
the RM50 million Pempena scandals would be held accountable is all the
more inexcusable from the perspective of competence, accountability and
integrity as the internal audit report exposing the financial
irregularities, criminal breach of trust and fraud in the various
Pempena Group of Companies had been completed and been in her hands for
over three months.
What had Chew been doing in the past three months after receiving the
internal audit report on the RM50 million Pempena Group of Companies
scandals? Did she carry out a house-cleaning of the Pempena Group of
How many people in the Pempena Group of Companies have faced
disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings for their part in the RM50
million Pempena scandals or have the key players of the RM50 million
Pempena scandal been rewarded with promotions and salary increases?
Although Chew has completely passed the buck of the RM50 million Pampena
scandals to her predecessors, the two former Pampena Chairmen, Datuk
Chor Chee Heung and Datuk Kee Phaik Kin have refused to accept the buck!
While admitting that some Pempena companies had incurred losses when he
was Pempena Chairman in 2007, he claimed that all the development
contracts and investments during his term as Pempena Chairman were made
in accordance to lawful channels and proper procedures.
He however suffered from an attack of amnesia and could not remember the
losses incurred by Pempena Group of Companies under his Chairmanship. He
even forgot how much he was paid as Pempena Chairman!
Has Chor also forgotten that last year he was also Deputy Chairman of
Wijaya Baru Global Bhd (WBGB), an associated company with Kuala Dimensi
Sdn. Bhd.,which was in the very thick of the RM4.6 billion Port Klang
Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal? I will not be surprised if Chor has also
forgotten how much he was paid by WBGB!
The Pempena Chairman before Chor, Datuk Kee Phaik Chin, also denied that
there were any hanky-panky in the Pempena Group of Companies during her
As reported by Sin Chew Daily, Kee said she left Pempena in very good
shape, as headlined “I left RM50 million for Pempena” after her term as
executive chairman from 2004 to 2006, putting the Pempena Group of
Companies in good shape, leaving Pempena not only with RM50 million
assets but with excellent corporate results and staff getting salary
increases and bonus.
As all the three Pempena Chairman from 2006 to 2008 have all disclaimed
responsibility, how come there could be RM50 million Pempena financial
This is where the PAC must act immediately to ferret out the truth and
identify those responsible for the RM50 million Pempena scandals.
Or is the country again presented with a “heinous crime without
criminals” as was said of the many mega financial scandals of the past,
like the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal and the RM4.6
billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal?
The PAC should not only investigate into the role of the three Pempena
Chairmen during the period, but also the two Tourism Ministers in the
past three years as well, viz Datuk Seri Azalina Othman and Tengku Adnan
I am quite hesitant to ask the PAC to take on a new investigation as the
PAC Chairman Datuk Azmi Khalid is staggering under the weight of PAC
responsibility and has still to keep his promise to table the PAC
inquiry report into the RM1.6 billion Eurocopter deal.
Furthermore, Azmi has still to give a public accounting of the outcome
of his announcement more than a month ago that the PAC would also
investigate into the multi-billion ringit Bank Indonesia International (BII)
and High Speed Broadband (HSBB) controversies.
But as PAC is the only parliamentary mechanism available to date to
discharge Parliament’s watchdog function to check executive abuses and
excesses of power including misuse of public funds, I have no choice but
to ask Azmi to get the PAC to include the RM50 million Pempena scandals
on its mountain pile of immediate agenda.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor