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Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 23rd July 2009: 

Is Ong Tee Keat facing a synthetic “life-and-death” crisis of leadership and if he is under siege, where does the unprecedented “threat” come from - Umno, MCA or BN?

Three MCA Ministers and seven deputy ministers have come out with a most extraordinary joint statement, describing the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat as if he is in the “life and death” crisis of leadership, except that nobody whether in MCA, Umno, Barisan Nasional or outside could feel any such crisis – or would care less, for that matter!

My first reaction to the joint statement of the MCA Ministers and deputy ministers is whether they are referring to me as the cause of Tee Keat tottering in his ministerial seat, as they described Ong’s crisis as emanating from his handling of the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

I read the statement more than once and clearly it could not refer to me.

The joint statement of the MCA ministers and deputy ministers said those who “create obstacles, make threats, suppress the truth and mislead the public must be condemned in the strongest terms possible" in the unfolding PKFZ “mother of all scandals”.

It cannot be me, because I do not come under the rubric of the sweeping generalisation and condemnation of those who “create obstacles, make threats, suppress the truth and mislead the public”, although I do not deny that I have been haunting and hounding Ong to “tell all” about the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal – in particular the causes and the culprits of the “scandal of all scandals” in Malaysian history.

And I will continue to haunt and hound Ong until the full facts of the PKFZ scandal, as to how a RM1.088 billion scandal under Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik as Transport Minister in 2002 could quadruple to RM4.6 billion under Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy as Transport Minister in 2006 and now set to become a RM12.5 billion scandal under Ong.

I had asked Ong 108 questions in my 36-day “three questions a day” on the PKFZ scandal and the MCA President had been running for cover for over a month, right from his scooting to France for the Paris Air Show when Parliament first met on June 15, 2009.

Ong’s failure and inability to answer the 108 questions is akin to his failure to pass as Transport Minister and MCA President like Shaolin disciples in “fighting stories” who could not pass the gauntlet of the 108 movements of Shaolin Wooden-men Lane and 18 Lohans to qualify leaving the Shaolin Mountain out into the world.

I will continue to haunt and hound Ong to get to the bottom of the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal, not because there is anything personal between us but in the public and national interests.

For the past fortnight, I have not been able to get back to the subject of PKFZ scandal, not that I am satisfied with Ong’s responses or that I have nothing more to ask or say, but because more immediate national concerns had consumed my time and energy, like the mysterious death of Teoh Boon Hock at MACC headquarters and the PPSMI controversy.

As a result, I have no time for Ong but will return to Ong and the PKFZ scandal when there is more time.

But I cannot be the one who is causing Ong to fight a political “life and death” battle in Cabinet as to require such a collective joint statement by MCA ministers and deputy ministers to swear eternal allegiance to Ong – just short of declaring that they will “sink or swim” with him, which of course they will not!

This is because Ong’s enemies are of a totally different character as is evident from Ong’s wide-ranging interview with Sin Chew Jit Poh last Thursday and Ong’s Sunday speech, where he made the most serious allegations ever about high-level corruption and abuses of power reaching all the way to the Cabinet, causing him to allege that corruption had emerged under the Najib premiership from the “darkness” into the open to do their evil work.

In fact, in his interview with Sin Chew Daily, Ong himself claimed that he was now "under siege" from people with vested interest in PKFZ, including some from within BN, and claims to have received death threats from underworld figures and whose influence have gone as high as the Cabinet level.

The press had asked for my responses to the collective statement by MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Actually, it is the MACC who should be asked for their responses to Ong’s serious allegations of corruption and “dark underground forces” extending the tentacles of their influence to high government places including the Cabinet.

Unless the MCA and Deputy Ministers are trying to distract public attention from the colossal failure of Ong and the other three MCA Ministers in Cabinet yesterday to establish a comprehensive Royal Commission of Inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death at MACC last Thursday – instead of a ridiculous Royal Commission of Inquiry not into Teoh’s death but the investigative procedures of MACC!

Malaysiakini has described the collective statement of the MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers as “a shot in the arm” for Ong. This phrase cannot be more appropriate, except not in its literary sense. It is most applicable in its literal sense here, for the MCA Ministers and deputy Ministers could not have done more damage to Ong than their maladroit and ill-considered statement of solidarity with Ong.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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