Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 8th June 2009:
Is Ong Tee Keat prepared to make public apology on behalf of MCA for the RM12.5 billion PKRZ scandal as it occurred under the watch of three MCA Transport Ministers and four MCA PKA Chairmen?
My three questions (No.28 to No.30 on the 10th 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:
1. Is Ong prepared as MCA President to make a public apology on behalf of MCA to the nation and Malaysians for the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal as it occurred under the watch of three MCA Transport Ministers and four MCA Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairmen?
From a RM1.1 billion scandal in 2002 under Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister, it has more then quadrupled to RM4.6 billion under Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as Transport Minister, and now skyrocketed to RM7.453 billion under Ong’s watch, and likely to require another RM5 billion bailout with public funds to reach the astronomical total cost of RM12.5 billion.
If everyone of the three MCA Transport Ministers and the four MCA PKA Chairmen (Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung and Datuk Lee Hwa Beng) had acted fully conscious of their public trust and responsibilities, the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal would not have reached the present proportion and magnitude!
2. After the publication of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report on PKFZ, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, who was PKA Chairman from April 2007 to March 2008, issued a statement disclaiming all responsibility and even knowledge of the PKFZ scandal, raising questions not only about any conflict-of-interest when he was PKA Chairman but also his fitness to continue as Deputy Finance Minister.
Chor said: “During the short nine months at the PKA as non-executive chairman, other than visiting the PKFZ and receiving reports pertaining to the development of the PKFZ from the then general manager at every board meeting, I was never involved in any other activities on the PKFZ. The purchase of the land in the PKFZ together with the massive development taking place therein were already approved way back in 2002 and 2004.”
Is Chor seriously suggesting that he need not be responsible in any manner for the worsening of the PKFZ scandal during his 11 months as PKA Chairman from April 2007 to March 2008, when important developments in the PKFZ scandal during this period included:
(a) the pull out of Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) which was to manage PKFZ on July 18, 2007, citing “strategic purposes” though correspondence between Jafza and PKFZ exposed by The Sun the following month indicated that Jafza quit due to red tape, bureaucracy, interference by politicians and those with interests, deliberate incorrect minuting of meetings, issues pertaining to the chain of command and even attempts at tax evasion by Malaysian negotiators.
(b) Cabinet decision on a RM4.6 billion bailout of PKFZ.
These were among the major developments in the long sorry tale of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal which happened during the period Chor was the PKA Chairman. How can Chor be allowed to throw up his arms and claim ignorance and innocence over what happened to the PKFZ while he as PKA Chairman, and what credibility, integrity and legitimacy has be to be Deputy Finance Minister?
What is Ong’s stand on Chor Chee Heung vis-à-vis his role in the PKFZ scandal?
3. Last December, Ong publicly said that the events surrounding the entry and exit of Jebel Ali Free Zone in the PKFZ project would be in the PwC full report. This is not the case – raising the question whether the PwC audit report that was released by the PKA Chairman, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng on May 28 is the full and uncensored PwC report. Malaysians are entitled to an unequivocal answer from Ong.
My invitation to Ong to the public forum on “RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal: Will Heads Roll?” at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 10th June 2008 at 8 pm, stands.
He can ask for clearance from the Cabinet on Wednesday morning to give him the greenlight to attend the forum.
The speakers of the forum are:
Specially invited to the PKFZ scandal public forum is the Parliamentary Public Accounts (PAC) Deputy Chairman Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, as the PAC met twice on Sept. 6 and 25, 2007 on the PKFZ. At the time the PAC was chaired by Datuk Shahrir Samad.
Seng Giaw should be able to brief the public forum what the PAC had discovered during the its investigations into the PKFZ scandal in the previous Parliament and what the PAC in the present Parliament in doing about the PKFZ scandal, now that it has mushroomed further from a RM4.6 billion scandal into a RM12.5 billion monster.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor