Why did Keng Yaik roar like a lion on Saturday for accountability about PMCs shortchanging the government and the public but squeal like a mouse on Wednesday, hiding the fact that he had failed as promised to raise the scandal-plagued PMC projects in the Cabinet meeting
Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Dewan Rakyat, Thursday): Gerakan President and Minister for Energy, Water and Communications, Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik should explain why he roared like a lion on Saturday for accountability about PMCs (Project Management Consultants) shortchanging the government and the public but squealed like a mouse on Wednesday, hiding the fact that he had failed as promised to raise the scandal-plagued PMC projects in the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
On Saturday, Keng Yaik said after chairing the Gerakan monthly central committee meeting that action should be taken against PMCs which shortchanged the Government, and that even though the Cabinet had decided to stop using the services of PMCs, those who had not performed satisfactorily on past projects should not be left off the hook.
He declared: “How can the Government be shortchanged? Those responsible should be made answerable for these sub-standard projects.”
He said he would raise the matter at the next Cabinet meeting as many party members were dissatisfied with the explanations on why some of the government projects were besieged with problems.
He said there was “something wrong somewhere” where the Works Minister did not know what was going on in connection with the PMC projects.
In fact, there is something very wrong with the Cabinet not knowing what had been going on in the scandal-plagued PMC projects although they go back all the way back to 1990.
There was high expectation that the Cabinet meeting yesterday would come out with a major decision on the failed PMC projects, not only because of Keng Yaik’s roar for accountability against PMCs for shortchanging the government and the public, but also news reports that the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu would submit his report on the PMCs, in particular the “sick” projects affecting 16 schools and five community colleges, to the Cabinet.
Keng Yaik, Samy Vellu and the Cabinet have however disappointed Malaysians as the issue of the long list of failed government infrastructure development projects was not discussed in yesterday’s Cabinet – which was confirmed by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, as reported in the mass media.
The press today reported both Keng Yaik and Samy Vellu both evading the press in their refusal to entertain questions from the journalists about the Cabinet.
If Keng Yaik dare not say whether he had raised the PMC issue in Cabinet yesterday, why then did he declare on Saturday that he was going to highlight the issue in Cabinet?
Has Keng Yaik become the latest recruit in a high-level conspiracy to sweep the entire PMC scandal under the carpet, and has he now agreed to the “shortchanging” of the government and the taxpayers by the PMCs, although PMC projects in the past few years since 2,000 were easily in the RM50 billion bracket if not more!
This is a week of shame for accountability, transparency and good governance in Malaysia, for Cabinet Ministers have not only failed to address the issue of the long list of failed government infrastructure projects, whether PMC or non-PMC yesterday, but Parliament after meeting for a full week, has also failed to address this issue – when it is a burning public issue.
During the committee stage debate on the Works Ministry last month, there were Barisan Nasional backbenchers like the MP for Kinabatangan, Bung Moktar, MP for Labuan Suhaili Abdul Rahman, MP for Batu Kawan Huan Cheng Guan, and even MP for Jerai, Badruddin , who called for the resignation of Samy Vellu as Works Minister for the long list of failed government infrastructure projects involving MATRADE Building, highways, schools and hospitals, but when Samy Vellu revealed early this month that the Finance Ministry and the PMCs were the real culprits, there have been a sudden disappearance of interest and loss of will among the Barisan Nasional MPs who had been loudest calling for Samy Vellu’s head.
Are the interests of Barisan Nasional MPs for efficiency, accountability, transparency and good governance with regard to government infrastructure development projects only to the extent where they could blame Samy Vellu, but not when the line of responsibility could extend to other Ministries and departments?
In the past few days, Malaysians have been asking why Parliament had failed to carry out its duty of scrutiny and accountability on the PMC and non-PMC infrastructure projects, and how the Malaysian Parliament could transform itself into a First-World Parliament when it has failed so patently to debate and scrutinise this issu.
I am making two desperate attempts to try to get Parliament to scrutinize and debate the failed PMC and non-PMC government infrastructure projects:
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman