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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

RM12 billion PKFZ scandal - six times bigger than RM2.5 billion BMF scandal of Mahathir

MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should stop running from the question why he had failed to honour his repeated public undertakings to “tell all” and make public the full report of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit into the mega-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal. Malaysians want to know what he is hiding.

The PwC audit report into the PKFZ scandal has been described in the media as “a damning disclosure of mismanagement, clandestine deals, conflicts of interest and a total disregard for transparency and accountability” for a project which was supposed to cost RM1.845 billion in 2002 under the then MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik but ended up at RM4.6 billion under MCA Deputy President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.

Now, horror of horrors, it is reported that the final cost of the PKFZ scandal under MCA President and the third MCA Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is the frightening figure of RM12 billion, which would have to be borne by the Malaysian taxpayers although the Cabinet had been assured in 2002 that the PKFZ project was a feasible, self-financing project that would not require a single sen of government financing!

If the PKFZ scandal had ballooned from RM1.8 billion in 2002 to RM12 billion in seven years under three MCA Ministers, it will be six times bigger than the first Mahathir mega financial scandal – RM2.5 billion BMF scandal!

RM12 billion of public funds is no chicken feed – it could build three Penang Bridges at RM4 billion each, 120 hospitals at RM100 million each, 1,200 schools at RM10 million each or 300,000 low-cost houses at RM40,000 each!

The MCA national leadership must fully account as to how three MCA Ministers in the past seven years had presided over one of the biggest financial scandals in the nation’s 52-year history.

The latest excuse of a “technical issue” preventing the full publication of the PwC report – that the Port Klang Authority Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng had only written to the PcW on April 30 to seek its consent to release the report – is most laughable and a terrible reflection of Ong’s Ministerial irresponsibility to honour his 14-month pledge to reveal the whole truth about the PKFZ scandal.

(LKS - Dinner speech in Sungai Lalang, Sungai Patani on Saturday, 9th May 2009 at 9 pm)

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