P. Ramasamy has a responsibility both as a people’s representative and as member of the Penang state Executive Council to set the record straight on the exact nature of his encounter with the MACC. The need to do so stems from allegations by the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng, that the anti-graft agency was harassing the state government by “conducting a politically motivated investigation.”
Yesterday, Guan Eng was reported as saying that there was no reason for the MACC to call on his deputy as the latter’s portfolio in the state government was unrelated to the Penang Undersea Tunnel project. The Chief Minister used that as premise to accuse the agency of conducting a political witch hunt that he alleged was designed to affect the image of the state.
In response, TTF issued a rebuttal amounting to a notice of demand that sought an apology from the Chief Minister. The content of that notice (in orange) is as follows:
Lim Guan Eng grossly erred in his decision earlier today to criticise the MACC for recording P. Ramasmy’s statement. According to the Penang Chief Minister, there was no reason for the anti-graft agency to call on his deputy as the latter’s portfolio in the state government was unrelated to the Penang Undersea Tunnel project.
However, what the Chief Minister failed to mention was his deputy’s membership with the Penang Transport Council (PTP). The membership, which took effect on the 14th of June 2016, is set to expire on the 18th of May 2018 (SEE FULL LIST HERE). Under the circumstances, Ramasamy is as yet a member of a council tasked with advising the state government and relevant authorities on all issues of transportation in the state.
By virtue of this reasoning, we can conclude with a reasonable degree of certainty that the Deputy Chief Minister is indeed responsible for the tunnel project no matter how remote or substantial that responsibility may be.
By skating over this and the fact that the PTC was responsible for mooting the Penang Transportation Masterplan (TMP) under which the tunnel project is parked, Guan Eng misled Malaysians into thinking that the MACC was harassing the state government by declaring that the anti-graft agency was “conducting a politically motivated investigation” (SEE NEWS ITEM BELOW).
These seditious remarks were uttered wth wilful intent to cast both the anti-graft agency and the ruling Barisan Nasional in bad light. The Chief Minister has, in the past, accused the ruling coalition of “sabotaging the (tunnel) project” in the same breath he suggested that the MACC was on a political witch hunt to harass the state government. There has been more than one occasion in which he connoted the anti-graft agency itself with acts of injustice.
There is no way Guan Eng would not have been aware of Ramasamy’s appointment to the PTC as all appointments to the council require his prior consent. For the record, the council is co-chaired by Yang Berhormat (YB) Lim Hock Seng who happens also to be the State Executive Councillor in charge of Public Works, Public Utilities and Transportation.
In light of all the above, I hereby demand that Guan Eng retracts his accusations against the MACC and offers both the anti-graft agency and the ruling Barisan Nasional an apology for suggesting that a political conspiracy by the aforementioned parties to damage the Penang state government exists.
Despite it being 17 hours since the notice was posted, I have yet to hear anything from the Chief Minister on the matter. I sincerely hope that Guan Eng comes to his senses and issues an apology to those aforementioned in the best interest of all concerned.
Note: The arguments contained in the following link are those I subscribe to and should therefore be considered as added reasons an apology from the Chief Minister is warranted:
News item by The Star:
GEORGE TOWN: Dr P. Ramasamy spent six hours with anti-graft officers, describing the session with them as “nice and cordial” but was also quick to point out that he was not “a suspect”.
The Deputy Chief Minister II said he was even allowed to go out for lunch.
“They didn’t confine me. If they have more questions, they can always call me,” he said yesterday.
He was questioned from 9am to 3.30pm at the Penang Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters here. His lawyer Datuk Ajit Singh Jessy accompanied him.
But Dr Ramasamy said he was not involved in the project and could only verify the minutes of meetings which he had attended.
“The officers also asked me whether I knew the people in the special purpose vehicle (SPV). Certainly, I’m not the accused here,” said the state Economic Planning, Education and Human Resources, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman.
Dr Ramasamy said he also told the officers that he was not aware of any issues pertaining to the project until it was reported in the press.
He was the second state exco member to be questioned by the MACC over allegations of corruption in the tunnel project.
On Tuesday, state Public Works Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng was questioned for more than 12 hours.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the exco had officially recorded its protest against the MACC for calling in Dr Ramasamy.
“What has he got to do with the project? Why is MACC questioning people who are not involved in the project?” Lim said at Komtar yesterday.
“The investigation was leaked to the press and the entire process has become a trial by media which is totally unacceptable,” Lim said.
Source: The Star Online