Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Wednesday, 17th June 2009 at 11 am:
Ong Tee Keat most irresponsible in absconding overseas to avoid parliamentary accountability on PKFZ scandal, which will result in his absence from this week’s Cabinet meeting and inability to ensure that Cabinet rectify the continuing injustice of SPM top scorers denied PSD overseas scholarships
MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is most irresponsible in absconding overseas to avoid parliamentary accounting on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, which will result in his absence from this week’s Cabinet meeting and inability to ensure that the Cabinet rectify the continuing injustice of SPM top scorers denied Public Service Department (PSD) overseas scholarships.
During question time in Parliament yesterday, I had read out an email complaint from a 2008 SPM top-scorer who is ranked No. 7 in a premier school in Johore Bahru, Tan Hao Chong, who scored 11A1 and 1A21 in Chinese, who was not even offered a PSD scholarship in local public universities.
I read out his email in Parliament, viz:
In his email, Tan pointed out that out of the 800 appeals made through MCA ,250 were of straight A1s as tabulated below and only 69 cases were successful:
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who was answering the question, had no consolation to the top-scorers in the country or any satisfactory answer to my question why the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “1Malaysia” programme had not resulted in a revamp of PSD scholarship policy to introduce a “colour-blind” approach, at least for the 20% or 400 of the 2,000 PSD foreign scholarships reserved for “meritocracy”!
I later met Datuk Wee Ka Siong, the MCA Youth leader and now Deputy Education Minister mentioned by Tan at the Parliament lobbly, and he admitted that the injustice of the PSD scholarship selection this year is the worst in the nine years he had been handling such cases.
What then is Wee doing as Deputy Education Minister and why is Ong committing a gross dereliction of political responsibilities by absenting himself from this week’s Cabinet meeting, when it will be the last opportunity to do justice to the SPM top-scorers by ensuring that all the top scorers with 9As are given PSD scholarships?
Nobody can accept the argument that the government has no money for scholarships for the best and brightest of our students when RM12.5 billion could be embroiled in the PKFZ scandal – which could give scholarships to 125,000 students at RM100,000 each!
My three questions (No.55 to No. 57 on the 19th 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:
No. 1. – When I went to Port Klang Authority (PKA) on May 28 for copies of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on PKFZ, like MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua and Selangor State Exco Ronnie Liu, we were made to sign acknowledgement of the conditions under which the report was given to us.
These conditions still apply, as all who want to download the PwC report from the PKFZ website, http://www.pkfznews.com.my/download-pka-report, are required to confirm acceptance of these conditions, one of which states:
“3) You are not authorised to use or rely on the Report to arrive at any conclusion.”
Can Ong explain this ridiculous condition that no one is “authorised to use or reply on the (PwC) Report to arrive at any conclusion” which flies in the face of accountability, transparency and good governance.
If the PwC report cannot be relied upon by anyone “to use or rely on…to arrive at any conclusion”, the PwC report is utterly useless. Then why did Ong direct the PKA Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng to submit copies to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) and the PAC, if not just as a cynical PR (public relations) exercise?
Why did Ong rely on the PwC report to set up a Task Force and two committees as a follow-up action on the PwC report?
MPs are still waiting for copies of the PwC report and appendices, Will MPs be required to sign acknowledgement of such silly conditions before copies are distributed in Parliament?
Question No.2 – I have received emails expressing skepticism that the Committee on Corporate Governance on PKFZ headed by Paul Low, Transparency International (TI) President, would be able to probe and get into the bottom of the RM2.5 billion PKFZ scandal, on the ground that Paul Low is a MCA life member and former Chairman of MCA think-tank, the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (INSAP) during the time of Liong Sik as MCA Chairman.
I am prepared to give Paul Low a chance to prove that he “walks the talk” on integrity as TI President.
My question to Ong is whether his choice of Paul Low as Chairman of Corporate Governance was in any way influenced by Paul Low’s MCA past, and what guarantees he can give that Paul Low will be given full powers to probe into all abuses of power, conflict-of-interest, malpractice and corruption resulting in the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
Question No. 3: I have today sent a letter to Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid, Chairman of PAC, asking him to disqualify himself and step down from the PAC inquiry into the PKFZ.
My letter reads:
Does Ong agree that Azmi should disqualify himself and step down from the PAC inquiry into the PKFZ because of conflict of interest, and that the PAC Deputy Chairman Dr. Tan Seng Giaw conduct the inquiry?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor