PM should immediately respond to urgent issues raised in 2008 budget debate like PKFZ scandal and e-kesihatan and not wait until early Nov

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also the Finance Minister, to respond to urgent issues raised in the first three days of the 2008 Budget and not to delay for some two months until early November — particularly on pressing public interest issues like the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone bailout scandal and the outcry over the new rip-off of the e-kesihatan monopoly concession awarded to Supremme Systems Sdn. Bhd without tender.

The Dewan Rakyat will adjourn for a 39-day break over the fasting month and Hari Raya holidays, resuming on October 22. This would mean that the 13-day general debate for the 2008 Budget before the ministerial reply would be broken up into two parts, three days this week and 10 days from 22nd October to 6th November, with Ministers beginning their reply on November 7, 2007.

There is something very wrong with the whole notion that issues raised in Parliament during the first three days of the 2008 Budget this week are only answered by Ministers two months later — especially with regard to pressing public interest issues demanding immediate response and action, particularly urgent matters like the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PFKZ) bailout scandal and the outcry over the new rip-off of the e-kesihatan monopoly concession awarded to Supremme Systems Sdn. Bhd without tender.

Accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance principles demand instant end of the government’s denial syndrome both in and outside Parliament about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal — particularly at a time when the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers are trying to assure Malaysians that they meant business and would not brook any hanky-panky following the shocking exposes of the pervasive culture of impunity, corruption, waste and mismanagement of public funds in the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report.

Abdullah said in Kuching yesterday that he had directed all Cabinet ministers to go through the Auditor-General’s report in detail and to fully explain anything that is questionable.

He said: “During the last cabinet meeting, before I left for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) meeting, I had directed all ministers to check matters pertaining to their respective ministries and report to the cabinet. Ministers must ensure that each matter raised in the Auditor-General’s report is studied and explained in detail.”

Several questions immediately come to mind. From Abdullah’s own revelation, the first time that the Auditor-General’s Report was discussed in the Cabinet was last Wednesday (Sept. 5) before he left for the APEC meeting in Melbourne.

But why had the Prime Minister and the Cabinet “slept” for over two months on the 2006 Auditor-General’s report when the Auditor-General’s Report into the 2006 Federal Government accounts were completed on 28th June 2007 and would have been submitted to the government shortly after.

Secondly, were the Ministers unaware and not responsible for the responses which had been given by the various Ministries and departments to the Auditor-General’s Report, which had been tabled in Parliament last week in the form of a Treasury memorandum together with the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report — many of which had been found to be very unsatisfactory and even unacceptable?

Thirdly, although the 2006 Auditor-General’s Report unveiled a catalogue of horror stories of pervasive waste and mismanagement of public funds, like the payment of RM224 for a RM32 set of screwdrivers, paying RM1,146 for a set of pens costing RM160, paying RM5,700 for a car jack worth RM50, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) paying RM5.59 million in advance to 4,183 students who did not apply for a loan, or the escalation of costs because of mismanagement and delays in the construction of six high-tech offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) by a whopping RM1.4 billion, they are either chicken-feed or comparatively minor when compared to a mega scandal like the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal.

This is why I had asked in Parliament yesterday that if the Prime Minister and Cabinet could condone mega-scandals like the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal, how could it be taken seriously that action would be taken against comparatively minor offences by public servants as highlighted by the 2006 Auditor-Genera’s Report although the abuse and mismanagement of public funds are still in millions or tens of millions of ringgit?

This is why if Abdullah really wants to send a clear message that he would not condone any further hanky-panky with public funds in government, then an example must be made against Cabinet Ministers, past and present, who had abused their powers and acted unlawfully, forcing the government to bail out the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone project when firm assurances had been given that the project would not need a single ringgit of public funds.

Otherwise, the assurance given by the Prime Minister yesterday at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore that his government would not bailout privately funded mega infrastructure projects that have failed would have no meaning whatsoever — as it would have been proved false by the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 2:29 pm

    A series of financial scandals involving the government has forced the Jap PM’s resignation. But the series of financial scandals involving the Malaysian government has been swept under the carpet
    ….Can anyone say this is not applicable in this country?

  2. #2 by St0rmFury on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 2:54 pm

    Chinese (as in China) ministers can be executed for corruption, can anyone say this is not applicable in this country?

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 3:00 pm

    Lee Kuan Yew said it best, if the core leadership is corrupt, then there is no hope of wiping out corruption. The core leadership is too addicted with the SIL being the leader of the new cronies. Its just don’t work…

    Have dead sentence for corruption above RM1,000. We will see how many still dare to take it…

  4. #4 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 3:01 pm

    but our own Badawi has yet to read the 600page report submitted by Ezam.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 3:01 pm

    A Philippine court convicted deposed President Joseph Estrada of plunder and sentenced him to life in prison

    He was convicted of pocketing tens of millions of dollars during the 31 months of his presidency. As a part of his sentencing, Estrada was ordered to forfeit about $15 million and a mansion….Er, which PM too has a Perth mansion?

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 3:33 pm

    A Singaporean friend was complaining about his PM. I told him in no uncertain terms he is welcome to have our Malaysian PM with our compliments. Oh, and our DPM thrown in for good measure and the rest of the Malaysian Cabinet for free.

    What the heck! What difference does it make? The country is on auto-mode; the ministers are on a joy-ride and everyone who has access to the till is taking a lucky dip.

    So my Singapore friend decided to quit behaving like a wizened old fool and stopped whingeing on his PM. You see nobody wants to touch the Malaysian Cabinet; no, not even with a 50-foot pole.

  7. #7 by Jong on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 6:18 pm

    Semua Malaysian Cabinet Ministers pandai kahwin saja, rajin cari bini yang kedua, ketige dan ke-empat, apa lagi? Tapi kerja tak erti!

  8. #8 by ablastine on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 6:39 pm

    Lets face it. Our country got plenty of money from oil revenue to the tune of 76 billions per year to spend or waste. If there is no scandals or abuse of the funds each of the 26 million of population will get about $3000 each. At 4.6 billion per scandal Malaysia can afford about 16.5 scandals per year . We only at most have about 1-2 of these per year. I mean nobody knows how long Earth is going to lasts. Why not use the money now instead of saving it for posterity. Now you see why it is so important to be in UMNO or MCA. This is where you can find plenty of easy money. Only stupid idiots like us just whimp like frustrated fools in the opposition, as poor as ever. For what. Lets just join the party while it last. Give the ignorant kampong folks some cans of sardines to exchange for their votes so that they perpetually remain ignorant and poor while we enjoy all the riches from the oil money. Afterall ignorant kampong fools deserves to have they share taken away. When they complain they tell them the Chinese came to rob them lah so that they will forever vote BN in to protect their rights. Problem solve.

  9. #9 by Jong on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 7:48 pm


    You are good lah, that kick was so perfect! It should break all the bones in the body!

  10. #10 by badak on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 11:31 pm

    There are hundreds of programs like E.KESIHATAN ,set up by our corrupted goverment to make afew of their political cronies over night millionaires,Because come election time ,This are the cronies who will back them up with the cash needed to buy our votes.What to do the biggest fulls are we ,the voters.

  11. #11 by kz on Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - 11:50 pm

    do they need cronies to help them buy votes? seems like most of the people in government already have more than enough to buy votes on their own

  12. #12 by curiousmalaysian on Thursday, 13 September 2007 - 12:14 am

    The corruptions and race discriminations in Malaysia are so obvious and outstanding, but many of our fellows especially Malays are still blinded and misled by dirty and racial tactics from the dominating politicians. There’s no firm political desires of present government to eliminate corruptions & race discrimination, because many so called Wakil Rakyat would be affected…they themselves benefit from the corruptions and unfair practices. How pity would be our country Malaysia in the next 20 years, we feel discouraged and hopeless…

  13. #13 by xaviers on Thursday, 13 September 2007 - 8:37 am

    I am sorry, this is what I think would happen. Whatever evidence that has been bought up, dug out. There would not be any explanation and all will go away after couple of months. Nobody is going to be fired. Nobody is going to resign.
    These guys are untouchable. God help us

  14. #14 by dawsheng on Thursday, 13 September 2007 - 9:47 am

    The only immediate response that our Prime Minister is capable of is falling asleep.

  15. #15 by ihavesomethingtosay on Friday, 14 September 2007 - 9:49 pm

    does this pee am knows what is happening?

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