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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Government is not too bothered with ECM Libra Avenue. But,we are.

It is important that there is accountability in the use of public fund. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should strive to achieve this. Every member of PAC should play an active part. The following is a reply to the PAC chairman:

Shahrir's unexpected snag on ECM Libra Avenue investigations is a guffaw

Statement by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, Deputy Chairman of PAC on 28 September, 2007:

Dato' Shahrir Bin Samad did not reflect the true situation when he said that 'unfortunately no questions were asked' about ECM Libra Avenue when the Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop appeared at the PAC on 26 February 2007 to answer questions on government-linked companies.

In his interview with Beh Lih Yi posted on 27 September, 2007 in Malaysiakini, Dato' Shahrir said investigations on ECM Libra Avenue hit an unexpected snag.

"He (Tan Sri Nor Mohamed) came (before PAC). He was there to answer our questions but unfortunately, [pauses] no questions were asked," he said.

"I guided everybody to a point that anyone could have picked up from the minutes left off but...nobody did. why do I always have to do the work?" asked Shahrir.

The verbatim report of the PAC proceedings was presented to Parliament on 4 September, 2007.

Three members of PAC asked about ECM Libra Avenue.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw: Tuan Pengerusi, sebenarnya saya mempunyai banyak soalan...

Tuan Pengerusi ( Dato' Shahrir): That's why we give you second last.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw:

................The ECM Libra. Kita dengar Tan Sri. Saya berterima kasih kerana Tan Sri dapat bersama-sama kita dan saya pun berpendapat, Tuan Pengerusi, kita pun berharap, Menteri yang lain pun boleh berbuat demikian.

You explain to us that (with) the ECM Libra, you are not 'too bothered' (with letting the company go), that you (have) got CIMB, you (have) got Maybank. This (ECM Libra Avenue) is chicken 'feed'. You didn't say that chicken 'feed' stuff....[Ketawa]. Now can you tell us, we see the merger (ECM Libra and Avenue) and then look at quarterly result, ECM Libra loss and is that true that there is a reduction in the staff by 23%. Reduction of the staff. Now why is that so? Are you using Avenue to cover the losses of ECM and now Tan Sri Azman has taken over. What makes the Government want to part with this so fast, within a few months? That's very interesting. How does a merger happen and then there is a reduction of staff by 23% and tremendous losses. An then the government said,"Oh, okay. Let's give it to Tan Sri Azman. Let see how he can solve our problem". I think this is unacceptable. How can you do that? How can the Government do that? You've got the EPU, you've got everything and now you talk to us about how good your staff is. Now you work out something like that and within a few months you 'part' with it. It's not acceptable...

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop: I disagree. Maybe I'll come back to them...........On the issue of ECM Libra, interesting Yang Berhormat. Kita jual ECM Libra kena marah. Kita beli Pantai Holdings, pun kena marah. Dua-dua kena marah. Beli pun salah, jual pun salah. But anyway, we addressed it now but there will be another forum that we can decide.....

Dr Tab believes that the PAC would need more time to ask Tan Sri Nor Mohamed about ECM Libra Avenue. He suggested another forum.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw


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