Archive for August 22nd, 2007

M4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – don’t let it stink to high heavens and mar 50th Merdeka anniversary

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should take drastic step to ensure that Malaysia does not celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary in nine days’ time with the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal stinking to high heavens.

The past few days have seen more skeletons of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal coming out of the cupboards, with the Sun reporting yesterday that the government has been placed in a position of having to divert RM4.6 billion of public funds to bail out the Port Klang Free Zone because the Transport Ministry had given undertakings it was not authorised to do so.

The Sun reported that the Transport Ministry issued “letters of support” which were used by the turnkey contractor – Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) – to raise bonds and get an AAA rating from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd.

The four letters were issued between 2003 and 2006 for the issuance of bonds for the RM4.6 billion cost of the project.

The question Malaysians want answer is why the Transport Ministry had illegally without sanction from the Finance Ministry issued letters of support to enable Kuala Dimensi to issue RM4.6 billion bonds to cover its cost overruns, which must now be borne by the government and the 26 million Malaysians — despite the Transport Ministry’s assurance that the PKFZ would be feasible, self-financing and would not need to involve a single ringgit of public funding.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad has called a PAC meeting on the PKFZ scandal to look into two concerns:

  • Will it involve any government bailout; and
  • Will it affect foreign investors’ confidence in other projects in Malaysia, like the Iskandar Development Region and other developments.

The Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy will be guilty of grave breach of parliamentary privilege if Parliament and the PAC are misled into thinking that the issue of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout has yet to be decided by the Cabinet — if in fact, such a decision had already been made and taken by the Cabinet.

This is why Chan cannot continue to keep dumb on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal and must come out with a clear and unequivocal statement as to whether the Cabinet had taken a policy decision on the bailout, and if so, when the decision was taken and why. Read the rest of this entry »