10
Nov
09

PKFZ Scandal: Ling’s “selective memory loss”

FORMER transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik should also be investigated for his part in the Port Klang Free Zone (PFKZ) scandal, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya) said today.

Pua, who made the call following the release of the PAC report on the fiasco last week, said Ling had displayed “selective memory loss” during his testimony to the committee.

He said the former MCA leader had answered “I cannot remember” or its equivalent at least 11 times when posed with certain key questions regarding the project, which raised doubts as to the veracity of his replies.

“The situation even reached a point of incredulity when PAC deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) asked: ‘Tun, did you know of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd or KDSB (the PKFZ turnkey developer), before you left the ministry?’ and Ling responded with ‘I may have heard about it’.”

Pua wants ‘selective memory loss’ Ling to be probed
Husna Yusop and Giam Say Khoon at the Dewan Rakyat
Nov 9, 2009 – the Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 9, 2009): FORMER transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik should also be investigated for his part in the Port Klang Free Zone (PFKZ) scandal, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya) said today.

Pua, who made the call following the release of the PAC report on the fiasco last week, said Ling had displayed “selective memory loss” during his testimony to the committee.

He said the former MCA leader had answered “I cannot remember” or its equivalent at least 11 times when posed with certain key questions regarding the project, which raised doubts as to the veracity of his replies.

“The situation even reached a point of incredulity when PAC deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) asked: ‘Tun, did you know of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd or KDSB (the PKFZ turnkey developer), before you left the ministry?’ and Ling responded with ‘I may have heard about it’.”

“We felt a bit bizarre over his answers,” Pua told reporters at the parliament lobby.

He said a thorough investigation must be conducted on the role that Ling played in the project.

Ling had denied that the ministry had any role in the finalisation of the land purchase agreement with KDSB, and placed the responsibility on the Finance Ministry which was headed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2001 and 2002.

But the testimonies of government officers and the letters by the Valuation and Property Services Department contradicted this.

They had confirmed it was the Transport Ministry which had repeatedly asked for the value of the land to be revised from RM17 to RM25 a sq ft without interest when, in fact, the Treasury had not authorised for any revision in purchase price, he said.

“The ministry under Ling had (allegedly) either defied a Treasury order dated June 12, 2001 and advice from the attorney-general (AG) for the land to be acquired compulsorily or strongly argued against doing so in securing the cabinet approval for the project,” Pua said, adding that Ling must explain the matter.

He said Ling had issued a letter of support for the project in 2003. Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had informed the PAC that the word of the government was worth its weight in gold, hence even if the letter did not specifically contain elements of guarantees, the government was obliged to honour its words.

“Therefore, Ling had also committed the government to bearing the (alleged) cost of the project amounting to RM1.31 billion,” he said.

“There were many other instances of wrongdoings which were highlighted in the PAC report that occurred during the time that Ling was the transport minister and it defies belief that he had little knowledge or could not remember at all what took place during that period.”

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