Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tueday, 15th September 2009:
Before Mohd Sidek takes up his appointment as chairman of the Super Task Force into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, he should explain why he had failed in past two years to carry out Cabinet mandate to identify and punish culprits responsible for the unlawful issue of four Letters of Support by two Transport Ministers?
It is a great disappointment that the MCA Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) is not being used for a united MCA call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal to bring to book all MCA, Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders implicated in the “mother of all scandals”.
When former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin could say that the PKFZ fiasco provides the Barisan Nasional government the best opportunity to fulfill its promise of cracking down on corruption, abuse of power and mismanagement, why are MCA, Umno and other Barisan Nasional component parties dragging their feet when they should be acting decisively to identity and punish the wrongdoers, without fear or favour and regardless of their present or past position or status?
Daim speaks with great authority, knowledge and experience when he said:
“The government must punish all those lawbreakers, only then can it regain the public’s confidence.
“In the past, the public did not see those who abused their power getting punished, resulting in more abuses of power. As such, it (making the PKFZ audit report public) is a good start”.
Daim cannot be more right as witnessed the five-fold multiplication of the first major financial scandal in the Mahathir premiership some three decades ago – the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal – to the present RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal!
The Cabinet decision last week to set up a super task force, headed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, to take over all investigations into the PKFZ scandal is not a demonstration of political will to get to the bottom of the “mother of all scandals” but the opposite.
I see it as a major step backwards in public accountability and good governance, as it smacks of being a super “cover up” task force for the PKFZ scandal.
What is needed is a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a comprehensive and no-holds-barred investigation into the “mother of all scandals” including relevant Ministerial and Cabinet aspects of the scandal instead of trying to sweep the whole issue back under the carpet.
In the first place, is Mohd Sidek the most appropriate person to head the super task force on the PKFZ scandal?
Before Mohd Sidek takes up this appointment, he should explain to the Malaysian public why he had failed in the past two years to carry out the Cabinet decision in July 2007 when it resolved on the RM4.6 billion bailout of PKFZ, including giving retrospective approval to the four illegal Letters of Support unlawfully given by the two previous Transport Ministers, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, that the Chief Secretary should conduct an inquiry as to how the four Letters of Support could have issued unlawfully and to take the necessary disciplinary actions against the culprits who have now landed the country with a RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
Did Mohd Sidek carry out such an inquiry as not a single culprit had been identified, let alone penalised for the unlawful issue of the four Letters of Support in the past two years ?
Clearly, Mohd Sidek had not carried out the Cabinet instruction or there would not be today a merry-go-round of multiple investigations into the PKFZ scandal, but all without the necessary sweeping powers to get to the bottom of the scandal.
Can Mohd Sidek succeed where he had failed in the past two years?
This is why the MCA, as the party which is most implicated in the PKFA scandal as so many MCA top leaders were involved whether as Transport Minister or Port Klang Authority Chairman, should take a stand to ensure that there should be no further cover-up of the PKFZ scandal and its EGM should, among other things, demonstrate the undivided support of the MCA delegates for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to bring to book all MCA, Umno and BN leaders implicated in the PKFZ “mother of all scandals”.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor