Anti-Corruption Agency should step in to investigate the missing RM25 million from Parliament renovation because of the conflicting statements  by two Cabinet Ministers

Media Conference Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang

(Parliament, Wednesday):Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said yesterday that the RM85 million Parliament House “leak”  last Thursday drenching the chamber of the Dewan Rakyat,  disrupting power supply for the whole Parliament House and bringing parliamentary proceedings to an abrupt and disgraceful halt was “a small problem”, and that repairs were completed by the contractor within 24 hours of the incident and that  there were no more leaks in Parliament House.

Thirty or  twenty ago, when Ministers and government leaders set and expect high standards of public service and quality performance, no one would have sought to minimize the “leaking” Parliament House scandal by dismissing it as “a small problem”, especially as it had made Parliament and the nation an international laughing stock.  Today, Ministerial and government standards have plunged to new depths in the nation’s history, raising the question as to whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can succeed in his call for an end to the “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” Malaysian malaise.

 Are there no more leaks in Parliament House after a RM85 million renovation?  I am not so sure, as reporters have complained of leaks in the media centre in Parliament when it rains.

 Is everything fine with the RM85 million Parliament renovation? Then why the frequent power breakdowns, whether in the Dewan Rakyat chamber or more often at the 18-storey tower block?

 Yesterday, when the renovated Dewan Negara chamber was being used for the first time on the first sitting of the Senate, two chairs broke in the morning session – with  both victims UMNO Senators.

 Something is very wrong with the RM85 million Parliament House renovation when the Dewan Rakyat chamber ceiling could leak  and Dewan Negara chairs could break on the first day of use after the renovation – raising questions about the quality of  workmanship, supervision and materials under the entire renovation programme.

 The Dewan Rakyat House Committee meeting on Friday should ask for a detailed billing of every item of expenditure of the RM85 million Parliament renovation and undertake rigorous check on the quality of  workmanship and materials used, and submit a full and extensive report to Dewan Rakyat when it meets on June 20.

In fact, I would suggest a joint meeting of the Dewan Rakyat House Committee  and the Dewan Negara House Committee since mishaps have hit both Houses, with leaks in the Dewan Rakyat and Senator chairs breaking during  Dewan Negara meeting.

I am surprised that Samy Vellu had backed the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah  in maintaining that the cost of Parliament renovation is RM60 million and not RM85 million.  I believe that it must be  the Public Works Department which must have given Ramli and Samy Vellu the RM60 million figure.

We have here the Works Minister and the Speaker insisting that Parliament renovation cost RM60 million while Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz,  the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, specifically in charge of Parliament, stating  that it cost RM85 million when I raised the issue in Parliament in May last year. Nazri said a year ago that the total cost of renovation was RM85 million, with RM57 million already spent.

With  Samy Vellu and PWD claiming  that the cost of Parliament renovation is RM60 million, while the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department states that the actual cost is RM85 million, where  has the RM25 million gone to?

I call on the Anti-Corruption Agency to step in to investigate the missing RM25 million from Parliament renovation because of the conflicting statements by the two Cabinet Ministers. 

It is a shame that MPs, who should be  managing their own domestic affairs concerning the parliamentary building, are completely in the dark about the costs and details of the RM60 million/RM85 million Parliament renovation – another proof of Parliament being just a rubber stamp with a status even lower than a government department.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman