Archive for April 11th, 2008

Public inquiry into RM70 million HPTC folly – object lesson to all Ministers and MPs on do’s and don’ts of good governance

Finally, the proposed High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in Brickendonbury outside London, originally slated to cost RM490 million but later scaled down and projected to cost RM70 million, has been laid to rest.

The reasons given by the new Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob scrapping the HPTC project is exactly what critics and opponents of the project had said both in and out of Parliament – that it is an extravagant and unnecessary expenditure which had nothing to do with raising the standards of Malaysian sports!

A special tribute must be given to crusading journalists like R. Nadeswaran of The Sun who had persevered in their high-quality investigative journalism under the most difficult of circumstances to expose the series of lies, half-truths and misinformation which proponents of the project had been spinning in the country in support of the folly.

Although Ismail said he was checking on the amount incurred on consultants, travel and other expenses in pursuing the project, giving an undertaking that they will be made public, it is most extraordinary that the new Sports Minister has difficulty in getting the latest update of the total expenditures incurred in the project.

There is no reason why Ismail could not have got these figures as he had been appointed Sports Minister for more than four weeks, with three intervening Cabinet meetings. Furthermore, there is only a change of a Minister and no change of government with consequential disappearance of files, as happened in some of the states where the Barisan Nasional had lost state power in the March 8 politicial tsunami. Read the rest of this entry »


RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – third Transport Minister to be marred and tarred?

Many must be surprised by the combative and ferocious response of the new Transport Minister, Datuk Ong Tee Keat following my statement welcoming his undertaking to give a full report on the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal.

Ong’s reaction was totally unprovoked and unjustifiable as my statement had welcomed his pledge of government accountability and transparency on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, pointing out five cardinal questions of the PKFZ scandal which are crying out for answer.

I hope Ong’s uncharacteristic response was not because he had been told to “shut up” whether at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting or elsewhere after his bold announcements on Monday and Tuesday that he would reveal the whole truth about the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, which was reported by the media, such as the following newspaper headlines viz:

“Ong to tell all on the PKFZ – ‘I wish to reveal to the people the true situation’” (Star 8.4.08)


“Won’t consider whether former leaders would be investigated – Ong Tee Keat: Revealing the truth is about the issue and not personalities” (Sin Chew 9.4.08) Read the rest of this entry »