Wednesday, October 14, 2009

PKFZ on Parliament back-burner?

Source: (14.10.2009)
The government has been 'saved' the hassle of having to immediately answer two questions on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal when Parliament reconvenes on Monday. Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang said two oral questions submitted by him and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng for response on the first day of the Dewan Rakyat sitting will only be heard at the tail end of the proceedings. "My question [...] has been kicked off to seven weeks later to Dec 3 [...] as if the PKFZ scandal is a trivial and inconsequential matter," he complained, noting that Lip Eng's question is only due to be answered on Dec 1. Kit Siang (left) had sought the outcome of a 2007 cabinet decision that instructed the chief secretary, economic planning unit and Prime Minister's Department to look into various irregularities in the PKFZ project "including unlawful issue of four Letters of Support".
"Why isn't the prime minister ready to answer this question on Monday? This has reinforced my reservations about the Super Task Force on the PKFZ set up by the cabinet early (last month and) headed by the chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan," the DAP leader said in a statement today. "The question that needs answer is what has happened to the cabinet decision two years ago that the chief secretary should head an investigation into the PKFZ scandal, including 'determining the type of misconduct or criminal element on the part of individuals or entities involved in the project and recommending actions to be taken against them'." Kit Siang, claiming he does not want to get involved in intensifying the ongoing MCA power struggle, noted that many see any departure of party president and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat" (right)as the effective end for any full accountability and transparency of the mother of all scandals". "Are all the cabinet ministers [...] prepared to give a categorical commitment that there will be no compromise in the full disclosure of the PKFZ scandal, whatever happens to the MCA power struggle?" he asked.
Police reports and law suits
The scandal came to a head last year when Ong commissioned an audit by Price Waterhouse Coopers into the PKFZ project. Its report exposed major inconsistencies and instances of potential wrongdoing. The Port Klang Authority and Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnkey developer, have since engaged in filing police reports and defamation suits against each other. The Najib administration, meanwhile, has been accused of trying to bury a full investigation in bureaucracy, by delegating the task to a high-powered task force. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has been carrying out its own probe into the cost over-runs of the project.

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