Archive for August 25th, 2007

27 charges against Zakaria dropped – another grave blow to public confidence less than a week to 50th Merdeka celebrations

As if there were not enough setbacks in the past two months to shatter public confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of institutions of state causing more and more Malaysians to ask the real meaning of the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations, another grave blow was delivered to such public confidence yesterday.

I am referring to the extraordinary dropping of the 37 charges against the so-called “Sultan of Klang” Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and five of his business partners pertaining to contravening the Companies Act 1965 — less than a week before the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations.

It would appear that the so-called “Sultan of Klang” enjoys immunities and privileges to the extent that he is a law unto himself and is not subject to the ordinary laws of the land binding of all Malaysians and even members of the true royalty.

Zakaria would have very exultant reasons to celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary on Friday, but he has left more and more Malaysians wonder what has happened to the country after half-a-century of independent nationhood that there is a lengthening catalogue of things very wrong with good governance, justice and nation-building in Malaysia.

Were the authorities serious in charging Zakaria with 37 offences under the Companies Act 1965 in the first instance, and if so, how could these charges be so summarily and flippantly withdrawn?

If the original 37 charges against Zakaria were just a sandiwara never meant to be taken or to be pursued seriously, then the reputation of the impartiality, independence, professionalism and integrity of the state institutions responsible for upholding law and order have been seriously tarnished, and suitable punitive action should be taken against the offenders.

If the original 37 charges against Zakaria had been preferred with a full sense of seriousness, then why were they dropped so summarily and frivolously? Was there interference with the process of law and the administration of justice, and if so, Parliament and the Malaysian people are entitled to a full explanation. Read the rest of this entry »


RM4.6b PKFZ scandal – Kong Choy should seriously consider resignation

The reasons why Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy chickened out from personally appearing at the Transport Ministry press conference on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) on Thursday seem to have become clearer — that he not only wanted to avoid hard and embarrassing questions about his role and responsibility in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, but he also wanted to evade questioning on the Transport Ministry’s five-page statement on PKFZ.

This is because more and more questions are surfacing over the accuracy and correctness of the statement, which strangely was issued anonymously, without the Transport Minister or anyone of his deputies daring to put their name on it!

Some of these questions include:

Firstly, was the Transport Ministry right in putting the whole blame of the ballooning of the cost of the PKFZ from RM1.1 billion to RM4.6 billion on Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), the former PKFZ operator?

Was Jafza responsible for the scandalous price of RM1.8 billion or RM25 psf paid by Port Klang Authority (PKA) for the 1,000 acres for the PKFZ from Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd which had four years earlier bought it for RM95 million or RM3 psf?

The Transport Ministry has failed to explain why it insisted on paying Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd. RM25 psf in the teeth of opposition of the Finance Ministry and the Attorney-General’s chambers which proposed that the land be acquired compulsorily at the market value of RM10 psf.

The Transport Ministry said the PKA’s purchase price was reached because of work done on the site, including land reclamation, drainage, construction of access roads, installation of street lights, water services and payment to various utility agencies.

If the recommendations of the Finance Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers had been followed, the price of the 1,000 acres for the PKFZ would be RM720 million instead of the exorbitant RM1.8 billion — an astronomical difference of RM1.1 billion.

Is Chan really justifying the RM1.1 billion difference in the land price on the ground of “work done on the site, including land reclamation, drainage, construction of access roads, installation of street lights, water services and payment to various utility agencies”?

Let Chan make public the costs of such “work done”, whether it was more than RM10 million or RM20 million — when the difference is the gargantuan sum of RM1.1 billion. Read the rest of this entry »