Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Monday, 18th August 2008:
Koh Tsu Koon dishonest to say now that the Penang State EXCO minutes are
minimal and meaningless when he had never complained before that it was
inadequate but instead had fully relied on them for the last 18 years as
Chief Minister for decision-making
President Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon is dishonest to say in his statement
on 16.8.2008 that my offer to allow him access to confidential EXCO
minutes to let him refresh his memory to prepare for the RM 124 million
land scam debate is minimal and meaningless when he had never complained
before that the EXCO minutes was inadequate but instead had fully relied
on them for the last 18 years as Chief Minister. Koh has instead chosen
to attack my unprecedented offer to declassify EXCO minutes for his
benefit, which has never been done by his or any government.
Koh said that he would reject my offer to let him have access to have
his own EXCO minutes because he would not have all the documents he
required and that 5 other former EXCO members were not allowed to
accompany him and be present. This government has rejected the 5 other
EXCOs and his political secretary to be present because they are not
participating in the debate.
His complaint that EXCO minutes are somehow incomplete is baseless and
wrong because it is the duty of government departments to provide all
relevant information to the EXCO before a decision is made. I have
further checked the EXCO minutes and all additional information are
enclosed as appendices and are part of the minutes.
Koh should know that has always been the practice to provide to the EXCO
what has been provided to the Land Committees. For Koh to say that the
EXCO minutes of the land scam are minimal and meaningless is also
unreasonable when he is fully aware that the documents required were
fully available and had never previously doubted the information
submitted by the relevant departments such as the Land Office.
Clearly Koh is trying to gain public sympathy that he is debating with
me under a “handicap” despite his 18 years experience as Chief Minister.
I will let the public decide whether he is debating under a handicap
when the Gerakan had arranged for the organizer of the forum
agendadaily.com and the moderator Datuk Johan Jaffar, both leaning
towards UMNO and BN.
Koh stubbornly insists that I had set two conditions when I had only
asked for the debate to be held unconditionally and in Penang. Even
though he refuses to debate in Penang but in Shah Alam on 20 August, I
will still go because Penangnites have a right to know the truth about
this land scam,
• why no
action was taken against those responsible;
rationale for these wrong decision that were made not in the public
interests, especially when even the former Deputy Chief Minister
Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya admitted that the previous government had
made a mistake which he(Hilmi) accepted full responsibility; and
there are any more hidden land scams that has seriously affected our
state’s finances and future development plans.
leaders are now trying to distract attention by asking how I could
discover so many land scams when all our offices had no files and we
walked into an essentially empty office after taking power on 8 March
2008. This is not unusual as DAP leaders are known for our ability to
dig out scandals and abuses of power. If we can uncover and expose
scandals whilst in opposition without access to any official records,
what more when we are in government?
Koh should come clean on these land scams and not protect those who are
responsible for these land scams. If he chooses to cover up for those
responsible, then he has not learnt the lessons of the political tsunami
of March 8 general elections when he and BN lost in Penang because he
could not deliver what the people clearly wanted – a CAT government
centered on competency, accountability and transparency.
Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief
Minister Penang & DAP