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Monday, September 7, 2009

> Kit Siang wants former ministers probed over PKFZ

DAP's Lim Kit Siang urged the government today to investigate Cabinet-level abuses of power in relation to the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ).

Calling it the mother of all scandals, he expressed concern that a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe appeared to be leaning towards putting the blame for cost overruns on poor management, with former Port Klang Authority chairman Datin Paduka OC Phang being singled out.

"It (PAC) is not prepared to probe to a higher level to ascertain the extent of ministerial or Cabinet responsibility," he said in a statement today.

The current Cabinet, he said, should establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a "no-holds barred" probe into the scandal.

"This is to unearth all the abuses of power and criminal breach of trust even at ministerial level, right from the beginning of the project."

Lim's remarks come as the PKFZ project has taken centre stage in the ongoing factional fighting within MCA.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who is also transport minister, has been facing accusations levelled at him by the PKFZ contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) after the company was blamed for the cost overruns by a special task force.

KDSB boss Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is also BN backbenchers' club chairman, has alleged Ong took RM10 million in cash from him, which Ong has disputed but the allegation is being used against him in his party battle with rival Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

While KDSB was under probe, Ong also took free rides on the company's private jets, suggesting he had cozy ties with the company that was facing a probe from his ministry.

But Ong is now trying to portray himself as a man who is determined to expose all wrongdoings in the PKFZ project.

Lim appeared to suggest today, however, that Ong should push harder to investigate the previous Cabinets and his predecessors in the Transport Ministry.

A previous BN Cabinet, Lim said, had taken the decision in July 2007 on a RM4.6 billion bail-out of PKFZ by giving retrospective approval for the four illegal Letters of Support issued by the two former Transport Ministers, Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.

"What is needed is a no-holds-barred inquiry into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal to unearth all the abuses of power and criminal breach of trust not just at the PKA and PKFZ levels, but all the way to ministerial and Cabinet stages right from the beginning of the sorry saga of the PKFZ scandal a decade ago when the PKFZ proposal was first mooted with Liong Sik as the Transport Minister under the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad," Lim said.

Ong briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last week on the PKFZ probe. During the same meeting it was also announced that KDSB's bank accounts had been frozen.

Najib said the Cabinet would discuss the PKFZ scandal this Wednesday and decide on the next course of action - The Malaysian Insider.