Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 16th July 2009:
Let Tee Keat tell PAC – which of the three Transport Ministers since 2002 must bear greatest responsibility for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?
The Malaysiakini headline “Liong Sik’s memory lapse impairs PAC meeting” tells it all - and it was what I had anticipated.
In my statement dated 5th July, 200, I had cautioned Ling against competing with his old boss, Tun Dr. Mahathir in a contest of selective amnesia when appearing before probes into their dubious past – as Mahathir had said “I cannot remember” or its equivalent 14 times during his 90-minute testimony before the Lingam Videotape Royal Commission of Inquiry in January last year.
How many times did Ling say “I cannot remember” or its equivalent in his two-hour appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal?
I understand that Ling beat Mahathir’s record of selective amnesia at the PAC inquiry yesterday. With his PAC testimony, Ling has formally inaugurated the Three Tuns for Selective Amnesia comprising Tun Mahathir, Tun Ling and Tun Eusuff Chin, the former Chief Justice who said “I cannot remember” or its equivalent 18 times in his testimony before the Lingam Videotape Royal Commission of Inquiry last year.
Ling has made a total mockery of his current position as Chairman of the Malaysia Mental Literary Movement (MMLM) which had been making a splash of publicity recently about mind mapping and developing brain power through brain exercises, unlimited potential of the human mind, ways to unleash it to the fullest as way as memory demonstrations by both the young and old on their mental literacy and ability to remember things.
Only last week, at the opening of the fifth Malaysia Festival of the Mind at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Kampar, Nurlina Suraiya Md Sharif 18 and Wong Wan Jiun 24 impressed the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when they successfully memorised and recalled an extensive series of words and numbers.
Or is the mental literacy promoted by Ling includes the mental prowess to both remember and forget things?
After Ling’s testimony, PAC Chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid told a press conference that the former MCA President and Transport Minister maintained that the government’s first letter of support for the PKFZ, signed on the advice of the ministry’s secretary-general and legal adviser, was not a letter of guarantee and did not have financial implications for the government.
If Ling is right, then the whole responsibility for the PKFZ scandal would fall on Ling’s successor as Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, who signed the other three letters of support which landed the country in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ “scandal of all scandals”.
Did Kong Choy sign the rest of the three letters of support also on the advice of the Transport Ministry’s secretary-general and legal adviser in each instance?
The Malaysian public are entitled to know who are the respective secretaries-general and legal advisers when each of the four PKFZ letters of support were signed by Liong Sik and Kong Choy from 2003 to 2006.
Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who will be appearing before the PAC in about four hours at 2 pm, should be able to give the PAC these names and whether the three letters of support signed by Kong Choy were all on the advice of the ministry’s secretary general and legal adviser at the time.
Tee Keat has a most important thing to tell the PAC – which of the three Transport Ministers since 2002 must bear the greatest responsibility for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal or is he taking the position that no one need to be held responsible for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ “mother of all scandals” – another “Malaysia Boleh” phenomenon of a “heinous crime without criminals”?
How could Tee Keat, who only became Transport Minister in March 2008 and whose first public statement is to promise to “tell all” about the PKFZ scandal but which he has reneged till today, be involved in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal?
This is a question Tee Keat must enlighten PAC and the Malaysian public – especially his answer to my question yesterday, whether he had given the final approval in May 2008 for the RM1.2 billion variation order by the PKFZ turnkey developer, Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd or he merely acted as postman of Port Klang Authority (PKA) to transmit the PKA approval to the Prime Minister for payment.
Is it true that the Port Klang Authority (PKA) Board in its meeting of February 2008 did not take the final decision to approve the RM1.2 billion KDSB variation order but referred it to the Transport Minister, although the PKA Board recommended approval.?
If so, did Tee Keat order a full review as to whether the KDSB’s RM1.2 billion variation order is justified and in order or whether he just approved it blindly by forwarding it to the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi?
If Tee Keat gave the final approval for the RM1.2 billion KDSB variation order and had not ordered a review of its accuracy and validity, why not?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor