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Daim should not be now be   asking for Cabinet minutes on Metramac scandal to be declassified to clear his own name when he should have advocated a transparency policy on privatization  as Finance Minister to protect public interest

Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang  

, Friday): Former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin should not now be asking for Cabinet minutes on the Metramac scandal to be declassified  to clear his own name when he should have advocated a transparency policy on privatization  as Finance Minister to protect the public interest.

Daim’s  second statement yesterday failed to answer two important public-interest questions:

  • Firstly, the rationale or justification for the  Treasury  payment of RM32.5 million as compensation for  the Metramac takeover of the Jalan Cheras toll from Syarikat Teratai KG Sdn Bhd (STKG)  to  Halim Saad through Metro Juara – which was the subject of the stricture of Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Sri Ram Gopal as misappropriation by Halim and having “flirted with an aggravated form of criminal breach of trust, an offence carrying a maximum 20-year jail term with whipping and fine upon conviction”.

  • Secondly, the rational or justification for the Treasury payment to Metramac,  as stated by the Court of Appeal judge Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinuddin in his decision,  totaling RM756.7 million for compensation and subsidies, for taking over the Cheras toll concession from STKG.

Regardless of the legal rights and wrongs of the disputing parties in the case about the Cheras toll concession which is being appealed to the Federal Court, Malaysians are entitled to know why their rights had not been given the topmost priority by the Cabinet.

Daim now claims that he was no more Finance Minister when the second concession agreement was signed between Metramac and DBKL on Feb. 13, 1992.    The question is whether the terms of the second concession agreement was already agreed when he was still Finance Minister.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, should not only declassify the Cabinet minutes about the Metramac scandal, but all documents about privatization contracts going back to the North-South Expressway privatization to United Engineers Malaysia (UEM)  in the mid-eighties to start a new page of government  transparency in Malaysia.                                                                                   


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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