Parliament: ‘Hysterical’ outburst over PKFZ report

(The Star) – Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat accused DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang of being “hysterical” for repeatedly questioning him about those involved in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue.

Ong was delivering a ministerial statement on the issue, saying he was doing so for the sake of transparency, when he was interrupted by Lim.

Both Deputy Speakers Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Datuk Ronald Kiandee had to remind Lim repeatedly to sit down before Ong could continue with his statement.

At one point, Lim was heard shouting that Ong should be referred to the Committee of Privileges for misleading the House and that the statement was a “waste of time.”

Even before Ong had begun his statement, several MPs including Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) had questioned the decision of the House to allow the statement.

On Lim’s outburst in Dewan, Ong said he should be allowed to continue with his statement under the House rules.

In his statement, Ong denied speculations by the Opposition that the costs for the PKFZ project would balloon to RM12.453bil by the year 2051.

“This cost will only increase to that sum if there is no intervention or efforts to promote PKFZ.

“This is merely a hypothetical scenario,” he said, adding that there had been various initiatives to promote PKFZ Sdn Bhd lately.

Later at a press conference in the Parliament lobby, he also denied a claim by the Opposition that he had asked the Government for another RM1.2bil soft loan for the project.

Ong said the RM1.2bil was part of the soft loan extended to the Port Klang Authority by the Finance MInistry back in 2007 when he had yet to assume the post.

On the role played by Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu), who has been named in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, Ong said he was the chief executive officer for Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, who sold the land to Port Klang and was the turnkey contractor during its development.

“According to records, he did not hold any position either in Port Klang Authority or Port Klang Free Zone during the land transaction.

“I did not make any statement on whether the Bintulu MP was involved in any conflict of interest,” he said, adding however that he had no objections against the PriceWaterHouseCoopers report.

On the special taskforce and committees set up to come up with recommendations on how to rectify PKFZ, Ong said these were “now working intensely.”