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When will Kong Choy emulate Soi Lek’s example of upholding Islam Hadhari and a “healthy political culture” in MCA in bearing full accountability and responsibility for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – the largest financial scandal in the four-year Abdullah premiership

Media Conference          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): When Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek left the Health Ministry yesterday morning for the weekly Cabinet meeting, he was confident and upbeat that he had the sex video scandal behind him, as he had the day before made the courageous admission that “I’m the man in the sex video”.

He must be optimistic that he could now move forward politically, as he had met and apologized to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and his wife and children had forgiven him. This was why he announced in Labis that he had no intention of quitting his government and party posts.

Although Chua subsequently told the media that he changed his mind about quitting his government and party posts after 24 hours because he was wrong in believing that his confession and apology would be accepted by Malaysians, and the “holier than thou” attitude of some Malaysians, I have no doubt that he was made to understand this “political reality” by the other Cabinet Ministers.

Although Abdullah said that the Cabinet yesterday did not discuss the “DVD controversy” as it was a personal matter, I do not believe that many Malaysians would buy this statement. I would not be surprised if the other Ministers had used the Cabinet meeting to convey to Chua the “political reality” on the ground, forcing him to reach the conclusion that he had no choice but to relinquish all government and party posts – ending with the Cabinet making a formal decision that the Ministers had never discussed the issue for the public record.

If so, then Chua’s reference of the “holier than thou” or “ulama” attitude of some Malaysians would also be an oblique criticism of his erstwhile Cabinet colleagues.

Chua subsequently told a media conference that he was quitting all government and party positions so that he will cease to be a burden to government and party, especially in the context of Islam Hadhari and the “healthy political culture” proposed by the MCA President.

Chua’s resignation has put the MCA Deputy President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy in a spot, for the question uppermost in many minds is when Chan will emulate Chua’s example to uphold Islam Hadhari and a “healthy political culture” in MCA by bearing full accountability and responsibility for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal – the largest financial scandal in the four-year Abdullah administration.

The RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal is the first biggest financial scandal of the Abdullah premiership, which is even bigger than the first biggest financial scandal of the Mahathir premiership – the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the early eighties.

At least Mahathir had set up the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry into the BMF scandal while the first mega-financial scandal under a MCA Minister in the nation’s 50-year history is being buried under a maze of denials and cover-up!

Chan had not denied that he had unlawfully issued three of the four Letters of Support to the PKFZ turnkey contractor to raise RM4 billion bonds, which were regarded as government guarantees by the market.

The Transport Minister had no such powers to issue financial guarantees committing the government, as it could only be issued by the Finance Minister and only after Cabinet approval.

It was because of these four unlawful “Letters of Support” by the Transport Minister, giving illegal but implicit government guarantee to the market, which the Cabinet had to give them retrospective approval, forcing the government into a RM4.6 billion bailout of PKFZ.

Will Chua’s example of bearing Ministerial responsibility open the eyes of Chan of what he must do to be a responsible Minister in keeping with Islam Hadhari and the so-called new MCA “healthy political culture” by ending his denial and stone-walling to accept full accountability for the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal?

Let me put it bluntly to Chan – he should either get the Cabinet to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal to clear himself of any abuse of power and/or breach of trust or he should follow the example set by Chua and resign from all government and party posts – including as Transport Minister.

Chua has left the Malaysian political scene with several cryptic but caustic comments of the political establishment – whether the government or MCA.

For instance, he pointedly declined to rebut the thesis that he had been the victim of political assassination.

He said he had received no fewer than 200 SMSes condemning certain party leaders for the “sting operation” to eliminate him from the political scene but he would not go into it.

There can be no doubt that among the MCA leaders responsible for the sudden demise of Chua’s meteoric political career include person or persons sitting in the MCA Presidential Council which yesterday “regrettably accepted and respected” Chua’s resignation from all government and party posts.

The MCA Presidential council also strongly condemned those responsible for filming and distributing Chua’s sex DVDs as it was “a blatant intrusion of privacy of a citizen”.

Ong Ka Ting said: “We urge the police to take firm action against the perpetrators and to ensure that those liable are punished”.

What baloney and hypocrisy, when it is quite clear that the “black hand’ or the “mastermind” of the very organized, orchestrated and systematic campaign to destroy Chua’s political career must be sitting on the MCA Presidential Council!

Is every member of the MCA Presidential Council prepared to take a public vow that he or she had nothing to do whatsoever with the plot for the political assassination of Chua and had no prior knowledge of it before the four-day political maelstrom which buried Chua’s meteoric political career on the national scene?

I was in Batu Pahat yesterday for the funeral of my sister, Kit Hwa, and the identity of the hotel in Batu Pahat where Chua ended his political career is a common knowledge. In fact, I had stayed in that hotel at least once. Will the mastermind, and not just the operatives, who set up the elaborate operation to “assassinate” Chua’s political career face the full legal and political consequences of their actions or will this end up as another “heinous crime without criminals”?

Chua did not spare the MCA President and Deputy President with his parting shots when he said that a healthy political culture should also embrace zero corruption and no moral judgment.

Chua said: “Healthy political culture should not be just confined to only terms of the office. Terms of office are the easiest to fulfill.”

Clearly, an MCA Minister presiding over the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal cannot pass muster Chua’s definition of a healthy political culture? Over to you, Chan!


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

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