15 December 2014
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai must stop sidestepping issues surrounding klia2 and instead, make a decision on whether the Auditor-General (A-G) could audit the RM4 billion low-cost terminal, said a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member today.
Tony Pua, who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said that despite setting up an "independent audit committee" to check on certain issues in klia2, Liow has repeatedly ignored the first and key recommendation from the PAC, which is to allow the A-G to audit the new airport.
"PAC has already produced the damning report which found many elements of gross mismanagement, and that’s why we had recommended the A-G audit the project. However, the government must provide the necessary instruction to the A-G to do so," he said in a statement today.
"The question is whether he will abide by the PAC recommendation to prove that MAHB and his ministry have nothing to hide. Or will he continue to sidestep the issue, praying that the issue will just go away quietly in order to protect the vested interest of those involved in the RM4 billion scandal."
Pua had previously criticised Liow, questioning his decision to set up an independent panel to investigate only the sinking and ponding issues at klia2 instead of allowing the A-G to audit the whole project.
But the minister had later responded, saying that the PAC had misunderstood the setting up of the committee, adding that it was even before the PAC report was tabled.
"With regards to the issues raised by the PAC, Liow said MAHB, who was involved in the airport’s construction, was ordered by the ministry to answer PAC’s queries.
"PAC has already heard and queried the officials from the ministry and MAHB extensively before concluding the PAC report with the relevant recommendations. Hence, there is not much more point for the MAHB to just 'to cooperate with PAC' again," the DAP lawmaker added.
In its report tabled on November 26, PAC had proposed that the A-G conduct an audit of the airport following its findings that the main cause of the problems in klia2 was the ballooning of its cost from the initial RM1.7 billion to RM4 billion.
The construction of the airport was also delayed because of the mismanagement of airport operator Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and its failure to consider the needs of budget airline operators at klia2, which led to cost overruns and problems in the low-cost terminal.
The PAC report found that MAHB had decided to locate the terminal at the west side, a site which had been documented by engineers as costly and ill-suited for airport construction. The choice of a satellite-type terminal had also been made instead of a finger-pier terminal as proposed by the airport consultants.
Pua had also said that there was no reason for Liow, who is MCA president, to disregard PAC's recommendation for the A-G to audit klia2 if there was nothing to hide.
In announcing members of the independent committee, Liow had given the panel until the first half of next year to complete their report, saying that any action taken would be based on the report.
Liow had also said the report would be made public and stern action taken against any party, if necessary. – December 15, 2014.
Original Source: www.themalaysianinsider.com