17 April 2012

Skandal PKFZ: Menteri enggan selesaikan masalah,siapa lindungi siapa...

DAP mendakwa Menteri Pengangkutan Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha(kiri) dan Pengerusi Port Klang Authority (PKA) Datuk Teh Kim Poh telah berkomplot untuk menukar keputusan-keputusan yang telah diambil oleh PKA berhubung projek Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ).

Akhbar The Sun hari ini mendedahkan bahawa PKA telah menulis kepada Majlis Peguam minggu lalu untuk menarik balik aduan terhadap Rashid Asari & Co kerana konflik kepentingan apabila menyediakan penjanjian jual beli bagi pihak PKA untuk projek PKFZ.

Pengerusi PKA pada ketika itu Datuk Lee Hwa Beng dikatakan telah menjalankan tanggungjawab beliau untuk membuat laporan terhadap Rashid Asari & Co kepada Majlis Peguam dan hasilnya mereka yang terlibat telah pun didakwa.

Bagimana pun, Setiausaha Publisiti DAP Tony Pua(kanan) berkata, PKA telah membuat keputusan untuk menarik balik saman undang-undang terhadap Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd kerana gagal menjalankan kerja-kerja berjumlah RM1.6 bilion.

“Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) (sebagai pemaju PKFZ)  juga dituduh kerana membuat tuntutan sebanyak RM55.8 juta dan RM83 juta atas kerja-kerja infrastruktur awam yang tidak dilaksana.

“Namun untuk kepentingan KDSB, dengan niat jelas untuk menutup seluruh skandal BN ini, PKA telah bersetuju untuk arbitrasi meski pun kesalahan tersebut jelas merupakan jenayah.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) dan pemegang saham KDSB adalah Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing yang juga merupakan Ahli Parlimen Bintulu dan Kelab Penyokong Kerajaan BN,” katanya.

Menurutnya, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha harus menjawab mengapa beliau ingin menghancurkan segala proses dan usaha yang telah dilakukan untuk membawa pihak yang bersalah ke muka pengadilan dan juga menjaga kepentingan pembayar cukai Malaysia.

“Kerana penyelewengan dan salah urus, kerajaan (wang rakyat) terpaksa menanggung bil RM12.5 bilion.

“Keengganan menteri untuk menyelesaikan masalah tersebut jelas menunjukkan bahawa kepentingan politik sedang dilindungi pada harga yang dibayar oleh kerajaan,” tambah Pua
. – Roketkini.com

MCA minister dismantling steps to uncover PKFZ scandal...

The DAP today accused Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha of conspiring to reverse previous efforts to reclaim losses from the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Publicity chief Tony Pua(right) claimed the Port Klang Authority (PKA), which comes under the Transport Ministry, has decided to withdraw all legal action against turnkey developer Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) for failing to carry out RM1.6 billion in work.

He said the MCA secretary-general “is doing everything in his means to dismantle and reverse all painstakingly agreed steps to get to the bottom of the scandal and cover up for all guilty parties.”

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said in a statement the suits related to “double and fictitious billings for works never carried out and excessive charges to PKA.”

Pua claimed that PKA has agreed to proceed to arbitration instead despite the “obvious criminality of the alleged offences” by KDSB, whose then chief executive was Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, the current Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers’ chief.

“Kong and new PKA chairman Datuk Teh Kim Poh have conspired to reverse the decision as well as many other decisions which were taken previously by PKA,” he said. He added that this decision came despite the courts already ruling last year in favour of PKA against KDSB’s appeal that the matter be resolved through arbitration.

A three-man Federal Court Bench chaired by then Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria had decided last June that the suits be tried in the Shah Alam High Court. He said the Lumut MP has also directed that all payments which are due to KDSB be paid to the latter’s bondholders despite the decision to withhold payment by the previous PKA board.

“By proceeding to pay KDSB, PKA is basically jeopardising its own interest by making such payments before the court has decided as to whether such payments are due. The payment amounts to nearly RM700 million annually and has since been paid promptly by the current PKA,” Pua said.

The project, initially tagged estimated at RM1.1 billion after it was mooted by then Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in 1997, more than quadrupled to RM4.6 billion by 2007. A position review by top accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interests from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.

Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged in court including Dr Ling, an ex-MCA president, and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy chief Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy, who are accused of lying to the Cabinet.

The Sun also reported today PKA has withdrawn its complaint to the Bar Council against Rashid Asari & Co in a conflict-of-interest case when preparing the sale and purchase agreements on behalf of PKA for the PKFZ project.

The complaint and suits against KDSB were filed by Datuk Lee Hwa Beng who was PKA chief from March 2008 to March 2011. The former Subang Jaya assemblyman for the MCA will release his book, “PKFZ: A Nation’s Trust Betrayed”, tomorrow and has said details revealed so far are “only the tip of the iceberg.”
- malaysian insider

Why the U-turn?

Numerous reports from accountants and lawyers appointed by the Port Klang Authority gave Malaysians an insight into the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal which will cost taxpayers a whopping RM12 billion. Enough has been said and written on it and as a matter of policy, this columnist took the view that the law must take its course and any further comment, observation or dictum would be seen as an overkill and a replication. The stance taken was that unless there were new developments, it would be a waste of valuable space delving into an exercise of repetition and reminding readers of the disgraceful acts and omissions.

This stand was to change dramatically two weeks ago – April 4 to be exact. A cursory glance at a file marked “Work in Progress” which had not been perused for more than 18 months prompted a call to someone familiar with disciplinary hearings of lawyers. “What happened to the complaint lodged by PKA on the law firm that acted for both parties?” was the casual question. The answer was stunning: “Didn’t you know? The complaint was withdrawn two weeks ago!”

PKA chairman Datuk Teh Kim Poh is an old friend – we were in the same secondary and primary schools – and a phone call resulted in a meeting at his PKA office. As I walked in, he was talking to a senior manager about concession negotiations, saying he wanted to be present because “they bully our staff”.

We had met in London late last year when he attended a World Ports Conference and after the customary compliments, we came to the serious stuff. Why did PKA withdraw the complaint? Teh was momentarily stunned. The question had taken him by surprise. He wanted to know who had told me about the board meeting and the decision which was taken only 10 days earlier. The outmoded thinking and philosophy is that information and discussion on every decision, however wrong, should be taken to the grave. But the letter to the Bar Council was a dead giveaway. It had been signed, sealed and sent in super-fast time – three days after the meeting. How we wish PKA had acted at such speed when it came to “real issues” like procurement and tenders.

First, it was the hostile witness theory. In what case will the lawyers who prepared the agreement be required to testify? Besides, lawyers know their obligations when giving evidence under oath. Some, when stumped for answers, look for reinforcements and this was no ordinary situation, and another manager steps into the arena.

Why, Teh asks the officer, did PKA withdraw the complaint?

“Mr Kee (the former general manager) does not want to testify. So there are no witnesses,” he replies.

But wasn’t Kee directed to lodge the complaint? After all, Kee was never in the picture when the agreement was signed and when the alleged breach took place. He merely acted for and on behalf of PKA. All that needs to be tendered at the hearing is the agreement. So why the big fuss?

Shouldn’t advice have been taken from the Attorney-General’s Chambers for such a drastic step? The PKA is a government body and it is customary for advice be taken from government counsel. Why then did it decide arbitrarily to ignore the decision of the previous board which saw it fit to make the complaint?

Kee’s successor, David Padman, understandably was in a spot and needed guidance as to what to do next. He could have been directed to present the PKA’s case with the documents in its possession, or at worst, be directed to seek the advice of the AG. Instead, the board chose to embark on a decision which cannot be viewed in any other way but as a reversal of a sound and reasonable decision made by its predecessors.

The question on the minds of most Malaysians is: Is the current board keen to bring to book those involved for the colossal loss or will it make further attempts to sweep everything under the carpet to benefit a few? - R. Nadeswaran,theSun daily

PKA denies dropping lawsuits against KDSB


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