Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 3rd July 2009:
Is Ong Tee Keat prepared to get declassification to submit all Cabinet minutes, memo and official papers on PKFZ to the PAC for a “tell all” probe into RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?
My three questions (No.103 to No. 105) on the 35th day in the current series to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal today are:
First Question. On Wednesday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) decided to summon Barisan Nasional big-wigs like the two former Transport Ministers, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, and the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) Chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to testify in its inquiry into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
We read in the press today the announcement by Tiong, who is also the CEO of Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd (KDSB), the turkey developer for PKFZ that he would not attend the PAC inquiry to give any testimony.
This is a most extraordinary turn of events. Yesterday, Parliament just bulldozed through the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee set up to investigate into the intimidation and obstruction of DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh from carrying out his parliamentary duties in the parliamentary precincts on February 26 by Umno Youth leaders but which went outside its terms of reference to recommend the punishment of Karpal, myself and six other Pakatan Rakyat MPs for not attending or participating in the Select Committee’s inquiry.
Tiong was a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee and from the verbatim record of its proceedings, particularly its meeting of 18th March 2009, Tiong was very insistent in demanding that Karpal, myself and the other six PR MPs should be punished although we had committed no wrongdoing and when such a matter was completely outside the scope, reference and jurisdiction of the Select Committee.
By Tiong’s own demands, Tiong is committed a serious offence and contempt of Parliament not only in refusing to appear before the PAC, but in announcing that he would not co-operate with the PAC, using the excuse that KDSB is instituting legal action against Port Klang Authority (PKA) on the PKFZ scandal.
Tiong arrogantly and insolently said that the PAC should talk to his lawyers instead of wanting him to appear before the PAC.
My first question to Ong is whether he agrees and approves of Tiong’s attitude or he thinks that Tiong should not only appear before the PAC and give his full co-operation as KDSB CEO but that the time has come for Tiong to relinquish his post as BNBBC Chairman so that BN MPs are not compromised in the PKFZ scandal by taking a stand blindly supporting Tiong because he is BNBBC Chairman.
Questions No. 2: Ong has responded differently from Tiong to the PAC summons, saying that he will co-operate if he is called up by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to give his statement on the PKFZ scandal.
Is he prepared to submit to the PAC all the Cabinet decisions, minutes and papers on the PKFZ scandal right from the start of the ill-fated PKFZ project?
If there is any problem with the Official Secrets Act, is he prepared to get Cabinet approval to declassify all Cabinet minutes, papers and all other official memorandum on the PKFZ, whether from the Finance Ministry, Economic Planning Unit, Attorney-General’s Chambers or the Transport Ministry so that all Cabinet and official papers are submitted to the PAC for a full “tell all” probe into the PKFZ scandal?
Question No. 3: Ong’s ”So near and yet so far” charade of the 300 copies of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report and appendices into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
For three weeks, the 300 copies of the PcW report and appendices in PKFZ scandal had been kept under “lock and key” to collect dust in the vaults of Parliament although they were allegedly meant for all MPs – and they are to be kept away from any “sight and sound” of MPs for the next three to six months, if not longer.
Ong blames the Parliament Secretary Datuk Roosme binti Hamzah for not releasing the PwC report and appendices on PKFZ to all MPs.
How cowardly and unchivalrous to pass the buck and blame a parliamentary officer, who is the first woman in the nation’s history to become Parliament Secretary, when it is the Transport Minister who must bear the full blame for the “So near and yet so far” charade over the 300 copies of the PwC report and appendices on PKFZ which are withheld from immediate release to all MPs.
Surely, the 14 PAC members do not need 300 sets of the PwC report and appendices!
My third question to Ong is what has he got to hide in the PwC appendices into PKFZ, that even now PAC members cannot take them home to study?
Is there something in the three-and-a-half inch high appendices which, on very close scrutiny and study, can throw a new light on how a RM1.088 PKFZ scandal in 2002 under Liong Sik as Transport Minister could quadruple to RM4.6 billion under Kong Choy in 2007 and now again double to RM7.453 billion and may even be as astronomical as RM12.453 billion?
In the past three days, One’s lieutenants in MCA have been singing his praises as the only Minister who wants to “tell all” about the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
If so, can Ong really explain why he is behind the “so near and yet so far” charade of sending the 300 copies of the PwC report and appendices to Parliament but not to put into the hands of the BN and PR MPs?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor