Ambivalent Tiong sidesteps Raja Petra’s claims

(Malaysiakini) – Does Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing have a 'close relationship' in private with MCA president and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat despite their public outbursts over business matters?

When contacted, Tiong was ambivalent: "We don't get involved with one another's work. He is a minister, I'm not."

"It is neither a good nor bad relationship. Both of us are BN MPs, so we know one another. Since we know one another, we are friends."

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin had drawn a link between the two in a posting last Friday on his Internet portal Malaysia Today, claiming that Ong had flown in Tiong's private jet five times.

Tiong is the owner of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the turnkey developer for the scandal-ridden Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project in which the Transport Ministry is involved.

Drawing from the blog posting, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang (left) urged Ong to explain whether he had used Tiong's private jet since becoming the transport minister.

"I will ask this question in Parliament if Ong chooses to keep dumb," Lim said in a statement yesterday.

Tiong clarified that he runs a jet charter business but that he is not sure whether Ong had used the service.

"Those jets are for rent, they are not private jets. Anyone can rent them but I'm not sure whether this includes Ong," he said.

Tiong also said he is not directly involved in the daily management of the business and would have to check with the company for details of customers.

Details of flights listed

Raja Petra wrote that although Ong and Tiong appeared to cross swords over the PKFZ issue in the media, the two have a "close relationship."

He said Ong (right) had flown at least five flights on Tiong's private jet, and listed details of the purported flights, including the date, time and jet model.

According to the article, Ong was trying to protect "Chinese corporate bosses and the Sarawak leaders who have their hands dirty with the PKFZ fiasco", allegedly including Tiong.

Tiong owns Kuala Dimensi which was named in the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit report on PKFZ for various irregularities.

The company responded by filed a suit against the accounting firm and Port Klang Authority which oversees PKFZ.