Former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat will testify before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) during a two-day inquiry into the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project, starting tomorrow.

Dr Ling will appear before the PAC on Wednesday at 11am, while Ong will testify the following day at 2pm, to the committee which would conduct the inquiry at the Parliament House.lingLiongsik

“We have also sent out a letter asking (former transport minister) Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy to appear but he has yet give us a reply,” PAC deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said when contacted today.

Dr Ling was transport minister from 1986 to 2003, and Chan took over the portfolio from July 1, 2003 to March 18, last year. Chan was succeeded by Ong.

Both Dr Ling and Ong said that they would give their full cooperation to the bi-partisan parliamentary committee.

Dr Tan said PAC was calling several other individuals, including Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is also Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club chairman and Pulau Lumut Development Cooperative (the company that sold the land to KDSB) president Datuk Abdul Rahman Palil to testify before the committee.

However, he stressed that those being summoned by the committee did not imply any guilt or wrong-doing.

PKFZ, a transhipment hub built on a 405-hectare site in Port Klang which also houses warehouses, office blocks and a four-star hotel, became a subject of controversy after it was exposed that the development cost for it ballooned from RM2.5 billion to RM4.6 billion.teekeat

PKA bought the 1,000-acre PKFZ land in Pulau Indah from KDSB in 2002 at a cost of RM25 per sq ft. KDSB was later appointed to be the turnkey developer for the project.

The issue is of huge public interest as the PKA obtained a finance ministry soft loan of RM4.632 billion to fund the project.

A PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report, commissioned by PKA and released in late May, had mentioned the involvement of several politicians and stated that there might be some conflict of interest.

Last month, PAC called up several individuals, including Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, to testify before the committee.

PAC had also met Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan and MACC investigations commissioner Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul.

On June 14, Ong had said that 300 copies of the PwC audit report on the PKFZ would be sent to Parliament, the following day, for distribution to all members of parliament.

However, he said it was up to Parliament to decide when the copies should be distributed to the MPs.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee had said that the documents were handed to the parliament secretary and that the documents — for use by the PAC for its investigations — would be given to the House only after it had completed its investigation.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said a full report on the PKFZ scandal would be ready in three months and tabled in Parliament at its sitting in October.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Hueng, who served as PKA chairman from 2007-2008, said he had not received any notice for him to appear to testify before the committee.

He also denied any conflict of interest, saying that he accepted the job as chairman of PKA and described it as “national duty”.

— BERNAMA