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Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang on Thursday, 13th August 2009:

Explosive Revelation: Kuala Dimensi RM 10 million ‘donation’ to MCA. First major test of confidence in 1Malaysia

The revelation by Bintulu MP and PKFZ turn- key contractor Kuala Dimensi CEO Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has critical ramifications for confidence building in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia.

It has adverse implications for confidence building among local and foreign business. It questions business practices in the country in the way business is done and affairs and interests of the country, protected and promoted.

Tiong’s startling revelation in Malaysiakini that he had given a RM10 million ‘donation’ to MCA President and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has exposed the scandal to a dizzyingly complex level.

What is shocking about the revelation is that the donation was made at the request of Ong, whose ministry was overseeing the investigations surrounding the RM12.5 billion PKFZ fiasco.

This is clearly a continuation of the cosy relationship between business and government as prevalent under ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohammed.

The Malaysiakini article further reveals that the money was paid in cash over three instalments during meetings held in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur in 2008.

In fact, Tiong notes that he has a friend who witnessed the transactions.

Tiong has also warned Ong that if the Minister denies the ‘donation’ transaction, then he will refresh the MCA President's memory in relation to where the money was given.

Also, Tiong’s outbursts reveal a common interest between the two men. In this regard Tiong might have inadvertently spilled the beans when he suggested that there was a quid-pro-quo in the ‘donations’ transaction.

Tiong's exact words (as reported by the media) is - "I was supposed to return the money to some other people. But in order to help each other, I let Ong use the money first". (emphasis added by author)

What did businessmen Tiong want from Ong? And what could Ong offer Kuala Dimensi in his capacity as a Minister? The common element between Tiong and Ong in 2008 is the PKFZ.

The question in the mind of all Malaysians is the following: did Tiong’s RM10 million constitute an act of corruption? And what was Ong’s part in this arrangement? What was the bargain?

These revelations come just a day after Port Klang Authority (PKA) Chairman Lee Hwa Beng filed a police report against KDSB, which has been accused of making inflated claims, over-billing, irregular claims, discrepancies and possibility of fraud amounting between RM500 million and RM1 billion.

Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd was appointed by Port Klang Authority (PKA) as turn key developer for PKFZ development project worth RM1.32 billion. The controversial company was also accused of profiting from the land sale to Port Klang Authority, which witnessed a price hike from RM3 per square feet in 1999 to RM25 per square feet in 2002.

We are not interested in the friendship between Ong and Tiong nor the use of the private jet. The people want to know if there were exchanges between Ong and Tiong for the cover-up of the RM12.5 billion scandal which hits tax-payers’ pockets.

Furthermore it is shocking that the country does not have a real watch dog for the mother of all scandals. The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), which was supposed to probe into the scandal, has failed to do that even though the body has seized all necessary documents from PKA in 2007 and received lots of complaints.

What we have is a scandalous revelation within a financial scandal, which has elements of fraudulent practices. And what is unfortunate is that the country does not have an independent Anti Corruption Commission that could probe the revelations including the scandal without fear or favour.

And at present the MACC has become Najib’s pit bull to de-legitimize the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government of Selangor.

The public confidence on MACC is at an all time low since the death of Teoh Beng Hock.

So, what then is the solution?

The answer might be in the hands of the 42 Advisory Panel Members of the MACC. They should collectively demand that MACC undertakes an independent investigation on Tiong’s revealations and the larger PKFZ RM12.5 billion fiasco. The group should resign en-msse in the event there are no independent investigations.

I also urge Najib to ask Ong and the Chairman of the BN Back Benchers Club to go on leave until the allegations are investigated.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) has been asking Najib, if heads would roll, since the disclosure of the PwC audit report. Najib owes the nation an answer.

* Charles Santiago, Selangor DAP Vice Chairman & MP for Klang



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