(Malaysia Kini) Works Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Yong Khoon Seng was left speechless as Parliamentary Opposition leader grilled him in the Dewan Rakyat for answers on the new national palace.
Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timur) quizzed Yong on the recent announcement by Works Minister S Samy Vellu that a new palace costing RM400 million would be built on a hill in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.
Samy Vellu said a new palace was needed because the current building in Jalan Istana is not big enough to host official events. Construction will begin next June, with completion expected in 2009.
Lim raised this issue during the debate and asked Yong for details which the latter could not provide.
This did not stop the veteran opposition leader from pressing him for a response, remarking that a minister should have been present to answer such important questions.
“Why was the palace given to Maya Maju Sdn Bhd? Who are they? Are they a crony company? Why wasn’t there an open tender? Why wasn’t there a contract? Why do we need this new palace?” Lim shot out relentlessly.
“Isn’t this palace a prestige project that falls outside the prime minister’s aim of not spending so much money? Is this another white elephant project?”
He then exclaimed that this is the first time he was seeing a government representative standing in the House without an answer.
“Why can’t you answer? Why are you standing there if you can’t answer?” he asked Yong then replied that he had already provided an answer, to which Lim retorted: “Just now you said you can’t answer, now you say you’ve given an answer.”
Appearing slightly defeated, Yong said: “I will give a written answer.”
Lim would not let up on the pressure: “How can he stand there and say he will give a written answer? If he’s standing there he should give an answer right now.
“You are incompetent and you are useless. The prime minister should sack you for being so useless. It is shameful in this House!”
Yong calmly replied “Luckily, Lim isn’t the prime minister”, drawing snickers from MPs.
Lim came right back at him: “I pity the prime minister for having such a parliamentary secretary.”
During the exchange, Deputy Speaker Dr Yusof Yaacob kept trying to restore calm in the House.
Yong finally sat down after insisting that a written answer would be given to Lim.
tags : pm malaysia prime minster abdullah ahmad badawi istana palace dap lim kit siang