4 December 2014
A DAP lawmaker questioned today if Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) was colluding with the Transport Ministry to avoid scrutiny by the Auditor-General (A-G) over cost overruns and delays in the construction of low-cost carrier terminal, klia2.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said that while newly appointed MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali had repeatedly stated conditions under which the audit could be carried out, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai on the other hand had kept silent on the findings in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report.
PAC had disclosed in a report last month that the main cause of the problems in klia2, including the cost which ballooned from RM1.7 billion to RM4 billion and its repeated delay in completion, was due to mismanagement and questionable decision-making by the airport owner's management.
This included the decision to locate klia2 at KLIA West, a site which has been documented by engineers as costly and ill-suited for airport construction.
In a statement today, Pua said that these were serious findings given that they involved a public concession which was awarded to MAHB as the sole owner, builder and operator of the airport.
As such, he urged Badlisham to demonstrate urgency and allow an audit by the A-G to ensure full accountability in the decisions and spending by the company as a matter of both shareholder and public interest.
Pua said that instead, last week, Badlisham had said that MAHB “wanted to discuss the type of audit with the Transport Ministry first”, claiming that as a public-listed company, it was already subjected to “higher scrutiny” from other regulators.
He said Badlisham also gave the excuse that MAHB was “audited and reviewed so many times”, they “just did not want it to overlap”.
He added that yesterday, Badlisham had said that they needed shareholders’ approval before the audit could commence.
"From the response given by the managing director of MAHB, it appears that he does not recognise the severity of the findings of the Public Accounts Committee and clearly feels that the audit by the Auditor-General is a waste of his time," said Pua, who is also DAP national publicity chief.
Pua added that the aspects of what the A-G should be auditing in MAHB had been made clear in the PAC report.
He further pointed out that while MAHB was regulated by the Securities Commission and Bursa Malaysia as a public listed company, the two authorities were not responsible over how MAHB spent its money, or if it made high or low returns on its investment and expenditure.
He added that the shocking lack of action, responsibility and ownership of the klia2 scandal under the Transport Ministry’s care was completely unacceptable.
"Are MAHB and the Ministry of Transport colluding and playing the quiet 'tai-ji' game of passing the buck around the table in the hope that the issue will just magically disappear from the radar of the scrutinising public?" Pua asked.
He also urged Khazanah Nasional – as the single largest shareholder of MAHB – to demand the top management to stop its delay tactics and to immediately initiate steps to welcome the A-G's audit.
"This is to prove that MAHB has nothing to hide and ensure that the wealth of the nation has not been wrongly abused, while the taxpayers’ monies are properly accounted for," Pua added. – December 4, 2014
Original Source: www.themalaysianinsider.com