Chan Kong Choy on-the-run again

 

Outside the 512 Gudang, PKFZ

Chan Kong Choy ran away again! He certainly have no answers for the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang on the subject of RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal. The only way out (at least temporary) for him was to run away to London.

Chan also run away from the Rawang people on the issue of high tension transmission towers. He promised to bring the matter to the Cabinet after much pressure from us; more than a month now but nothing has come out from the Cabinet.

Media Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 20th November 2007:

2008 Budget Committee stage debate on Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan Kong Choy returns from London next week or this is evidence of the Transport Minister on-the-run to escape accountability for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone bailout scandal

I was surprised to read a Bernama report last night that the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has left for London to attend the 25th International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly and will not be back until later next week.

My immediate reaction is that the Transport Minister is on-the-run from Parliament to escape accountability for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal, as the committee stage debate on the Transport Ministry for the 2008 Budget is scheduled for this Thursday or latest by Monday – when Chan will still be in London.

This is most irresponsible, as Chan knows that the PKFZ scandal will feature prominently in the debate on the Transport Ministry as for the past three months of the parliamentary meeting, no satisfactory answer had been given to the many issues and questions which I had raised repeatedly about the PKFZ scandal.

In fact, last Monday in Parliament during the committee stage debate on the Finance Ministry, I had posed the specific question as to why the government was “on-the-run” on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal.

I had protested that government ministers were kicking the issue of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal from one Ministry to another, evading accountability by refusing to give a direct answer to many pertinent questions which I had posed – with the ball being kicked among the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport with no one wanting to give a proper answer.

I had even simplified the questions on the PKFZ scandal which cry out for answer, viz:

1. Was it true that when the Port Klang Authority and the Transport Ministry insisted on buying the 1,000 acres of Pulau Indah land for PKFZ at RM25 psf on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis, in the face of strong objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Treasury which had recommended that the land be acquired at RM10 psf, the Cabinet had given its approval subject to two conditions: (i) categorical assurance by the Transport Minister that the PKFZ proposal was feasible and self-financing and would not require any public funding; and (ii) that every RM100 million variation in the development costs of PKFZ would require prior Cabinet approval.
2. In the event, the first condition was breached when the PKFZ project ballooned from RM1.1 billion to RM4.6 billion requiring government intervention and bailout while the second condition was breached with the original PKFZ development costs of RM400 million ballooning to RM2.8 billion without any prior Cabinet approval ever been sought for every RM100 million increase in development costs.

3. The Transport Minister had unlawfully issued four Letters of Support to Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd (KDSB), the PKFZ turnkey contractor – to raise RM4 billion bonds, which were regarded as government guarantees by the market. The Transport Minister had no such powers to issue financial guarantees committing the government, as it could only be issued by the Finance Minister and only after Cabinet approval. The first Letter of Support was issued by the former Transport Minister, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik on May 28, 2003, which was Liong Sik’s last day as Transport Minister while the other three were issued by Kong Choy.

4. Whether it wasn’t true that in recognition that the four unlawful “Letters of Support” of the Transport Minister had nonetheless given implicit government guarantee to the market that the Cabinet had in mid-year to give retrospective approval for the unlawful and unauthorized four Letters of Support by the Transport Ministers in the past four years creating RM4.6 billion liability for the government in the bailout of PKFZ.

5. Why no action had been taken against the Transport Minister, both Liong Sik and Kong Choy, as well as the government officials responsible for the unlawful issue of the four “Letters of Support”. Kong Choy had said that he did not know that he had no power as Transport Minister to issue such Letters of Support, Was this an acceptable explanation for getting the government embroiled in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal?

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz had said that questions on the PKFZ scandal should rightly be answered by the Transport Minister.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Ministry, Datuk Seri Dr. Hilmi Yahya when pressed on the issue last Monday, asked that he be allowed to answer by way of written reply. When asked when the written reply would be given, he declined to give any firm date on the ground that a proper study had to be done. When I persisted in asking whether an answer could be forthcoming in a week’s time, as this was not a new issue and had been raised for over two months, Hilmi said he would try.

More than a week had passed and I have not yet received any written reply from Helmi, while Chan has run away to London on the pretext of attending the International Maritime Organisation meeting in London.
Chan should be reminded that while his international commitments are important, they should not be allowed to overshadow his responsibilities to Parliament and Malaysians as Transport Minister.

After all, if Chan is not Transport Minister, he would be nothing in the International Maritime Organisation! This is why he must not forget his roots by running away from his primary responsibilities to Parliament and Malaysian taxpayers to evade answer and accountability for the biggest financial scandal in the Abdullah premiership.

If Chan feels that it is very important that he should attend the International Maritime Organisation conference in London which clashes with the parliamentary schedule for the Transport Ministry in the committee stage debate on the 2008 Budget, he could easily ask for the debate on the Transport Ministry to be changed to a later date when he is back from the London Conference.

Chan must stand accused of using the International Maritime Organisation conference in London as an excuse to run away from Parliament and escape accountability for the PKFZ scandal in the 2008 Budget committee stage debate on the Transport Ministry, especially as Chan’s role in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal is a major and central one.

I have given notice of a RM10 cut motion for the salary of Chan as Transport Minister over his major role in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – and it will be the height of Ministerial irresponsibility and parliamentary cowardice for Chan to run away to London when the Transport Ministry comes up for debate on Thursday or Monday.

I have written a strong protest to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs for the Cabinet over the absence of Chan in the debate on the Transport Ministry and to ask that the debate of the Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan has come back from London to “face the music” over the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal.

    Lim Kit Siang

国会反对党领袖兼民主行动党怡保东区国会议员林吉祥于2007年11月20日(星期二)在国会召开记者会发表的声明:

交通部的2008年度委员会阶段的预算案辩论应展期到陈广才下周从伦敦回国后才进行,否则这将成为证明交通部长在逃循,避免交待46亿令吉拯救巴生港口自由区计划丑闻之证据。

当我从马新社昨晚的报导中获悉交通部长拿督斯里陈广才已飞往伦敦出席第25届国际海洋组织大会,将在下周才回国时,我感到很惊讶。

我的首个反应是,交通部长在逃循,他要躲避而不交待46亿令吉拯救巴生港口自由区计划(PKFZ)的丑闻,因为交通部的2008年度委员会阶段的预算案辩论订在本周四或最迟下周一进行,而陈广才届时仍在伦敦。

这是极不负责任之举,因为陈广才知道,PKFZ丑闻将成为交通部辩论的焦点。在过去3个月的国会会议中,尽管我不断的提出这项丑闻,但许多相关的问题都未获得答案。

其实,上周一在国会的财政部委员会阶段辩论时,我就特别提问,为何政府在逃避PKFZ丑闻问题。

我抗议政府将此丑闻从一个内阁部门踢到另一个内阁部门,针对许多相当关键性的问题都顾左右而言他。这个球在首相署、财政部与交通部之间被踢来踢去,没有一个部门给予应有的答案。

我甚至将各项问题简化,即:

1. 巴生港务局及交通部是否真的尽管面对总检察长署及财政部的强烈反对,并建议以每平方尺10令吉价格徵用之下,仍然坚持在”买者愿买,卖者愿卖”的每平方尺25令吉价格下购买浮罗英达的1000依格土地供作PKFZ用途,而内阁已在两个条件下给予批准:(i)交通部长明确地保证PKFZ计划可行及自行融资,不会花半分钱公款;及(ii)PKFZ发展每增花1亿令吉,都必须先获得内阁的批准。

2.结果,首个条件已被违背,PKFZ的经费从11亿令吉暴涨至46亿令吉而需要政府拯救,而第2个条件也被违背,因为在没有每增加1亿令吉都须经过内阁核准程序下,PKFZ的原有成本额从4亿令吉暴涨至28亿令吉。

3.交通部长违法的发出4封信给PKFZ的总承包商Kuala Dimensi有限公司(KDSB),好让后者通过发出债券集资40亿令吉资金,这形同政府向市场作出担保。交通部长并没有权力作出政府的融资担保,只有财政部长在内阁核准后才能作出。首封支持信是由前交通部长拿督斯里林良实于2003年5月28日发出,当天是林良实担任交长的最后一天。其馀3封是由陈广才发出。

4.这4封交长发出的非法”支持信”仍获得政府的担保,因为内阁在年中以追溯方式核准了两名交长在过去4年里非法与未经授权发出的支持信,使政府为了拯救PKFZ而背负了46亿令吉债务,这种说法是否属实。

5.为何政府至今没对付这两名交长,即林良实及陈广才,以及其他涉及非法发出4封支持信的高官。陈广才说,他不知道交长无权发出这种支持信。这是否能作为政府卷入46亿令吉拯救PKFZ丑闻的借口?

首相署部长拿督斯里纳兹里说,PKFZ丑闻的问题最好由交长解答。

当财政部政务次长拿督斯里希尔米上周一在国会被询及有关问题时,要求以书面作答。当被询及将在何时给予书面答覆时,他没给一个肯定的日期,理由是需要时间研究。当我追问答案是否可以在一周内获得(因为这不是新的课题,而且已提出超过两个月时间)时,希尔米说他会设法。

一周时间已过去,我仍未接到希尔米的答覆,而陈广才却已躲到伦敦去,表面上是要到那里出席国际海洋组织大会。

陈广才应被提醒,履行国际任务固然重要,但身为交长的他,不应因此忽略了他对国会及国人的责任。

而且,如果他不是交长,他在国际海洋组织大会上只能靠边站!因此,他不应忘了本身的责任,不应为了逃避阿都拉政权下最大宗的金融丑闻之问责,而漠视对国会及大马纳税人应尽的责任。

如果陈广才认为,伦敦的大会很重要,必须出席,但又与交通部的辩论撞期,他大可要求将辩论展期至他回国后才进行。

否则的话,陈广才将面对借伦敦大会逃循的指责,即他要避开PKFZ丑闻的问责,尤其是他在丑闻中扮演主要的角色。

我已通知议长,将提呈要将交长陈广才减薪10令吉的动议,如果交通部的2008年度委员会阶段预算案辩论在本周四或下周一进行的话,将会是陈广才高度不负责任与不敢面对国会之举。

我已经致函给负责国会事务的首相署部长拿督斯里纳兹里,抗议陈广才缺席交通部的辩论,并要求将辩论展期到陈广才回国,要他亲自交待PKFZ丑闻的来龙去脉。

林吉祥

‘Runaway’ Chan under fire for missing PKFZ debate
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 20, 07 2:54pm
Malaysiakini 

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang today demanded for the committee stage of Supply Bill 2008 debate on Transport Ministry to be postponed until the transport minister returns from his foreign visit next week.

At a press conference held at the Parliament lobby today, an irate Lim said that Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy was on the run from parliament to escape accountability on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal

Bernama reported yesterday that Chan has left for London to attend the 25th International Maritime Organisation (IMO) assembly and will not be back until later next week.

Lim described Chan’s visit as “most irresponsible” because he would still be in London when his ministry is scheduled to wind up the debate on Thursday or the latest by next Monday.

“Chan knows PKFZ scandal will feature prominently in the debate as for the past three months of the parliament sitting, no satisfactory answer had been given to the many issues and questions raised about the scandal,” he said.

“Last Monday, I had protested that government ministers were kicking the issue from one ministry to another, evading accountability by refusing to give a direct answer to many pertinent questions I had posed,” he added.

Answerable to parliament

“When pressed on the issue when the Finance Ministry was winding up the debate, the ministry’s parliamentary secretary Hilmi Yahaya asked that he be allowed to give a written reply.

“More than week has passed and I have yet to receive any written reply from Hilmi, while Chan has run away to London on pretext of attending the assembly.”

Lim reminded Chan that while his international commitments are important, they should not be allowed to overshadow his responsibilities to parliament and Malaysians.

He said Chan would be nothing in the IMO assembly if not for his position as the transport minister.

“This is why he must not forget his roots by running away from his primary responsibilities to parliament and Malaysian taxpayers to evade answer and accountability,” he said.

“If he (Chan) feels that it is important to attend the assembly, he could easily ask for the winding up of debate to be changed to a later date when he’s back from London.”

Lim also said that he had written a protest note to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs, over the absence of Chan.

Over-priced project

“I have asked for the winding-up debate by the Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan has come back from London to face the music over the PKFZ scandal.”

Chan’s role in the grossly overpaid PKFZ project included issuing letters of support to contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd to raise RM4 billion bonds.

The minister had no such powers to issue financial guarantees committing the government, as it could only be issued by the Finance Minister after cabinet approval.

After a litany of complaints ranging from mismanagement and inflated financial costs, the government said that it would give a soft loan to Port Klang Authority to ensure the success of the PKFZ project.

SPECIAL REPORT: Poser over mega ‘ghost town’

One Response to “Chan Kong Choy on-the-run again”

  1. KSTAN Says:

    Ronnie,

    If you read today’s The Star news, it seems the MB of Perak supports Ong Kah Chuan (kah ting’s bro) to contest in Lenggong (an UMNO seat and Malay majority area) in the next GE. Really no balls lah this Kah Chuan, if wanna contest, go back and fight in Batu Gajah lah … but anyway we all know that MCA rely more and more on non-Chinese votes to get them into office. Just look at Pontian, Labis and Selayang. These seats are actually mixed seats. Top leaders of MCA should be contesting for seats like in Seputeh, Kepong and Ipoh Timor. Really no balls lah these MCA leaders. hahaha …. so if Kah Chuan wins the Lenggong seat in the next GE he cannot go around and say that he has the support of the Chinese people of Perak behind him. But instead say that it was the Malays in Lenggong that made him an MP. SO might as well “masuk UMNO lah” and be Ketua Bahagian/ Chief Division for Lenggong. hahaha ….

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