Feb 28, 2007

'Secret' of Toll agreement was out 10 years ago

It's a "secret" when the government says it is.

(The Sun) PETALING JAYA (Feb 27, 2007): A highway concessionnaire released details of its classified agreement with the government in its prospectus for institutional investors 10 years ago, it was revealed today.

Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak), the concession holder for the Damansara-Puchong Highway, had in the prospectus given a summary of key terms of the agreement which was classified under the Official Secrets Act.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who revealed the prospectus in a press conference today, questioned the motive of the government for continuing to insist the agreement was under the OSA.

"The prospectus has all the details of the agreement. Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu had said everything discussed in the cabinet is under the OSA.

"As such, Litrak, and its two joint global lead managers, Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Bhd and Barclays de Zoete Wedd Ltd, should also be investigated by the police as well for revealing the content."

Last month, four opposition leaders - Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua, treasurer-general Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, PAS treasurer-general Dr Hatta Ramli and DAP non-governmental organisation bureau chief Ronnie Liu - were questioned by the police for alleged violation of the OSA by revealing a copy of a concession agreement in a press conference.

Samy, who initially lambasted the four for revealing "official secrets", recently said the ministry would reveal the agreement as the premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had agreed to it, provided a paper was first tabled to the cabinet.

He had said the concession holders had no objections to this.

Lim said the government should drop its investigation against the four men and apologise to them for "selective prosecution and double standards".

Lim said the Litrak prospectus revealed the projected profit after tax of the company from 1997 to 2029 to be RM18.9 billion while the total construction cost was estimated at only RM1.327 billion, inclusive of capitalised interest of RM142.3 million.

"This is at least 15 times the cost that they put in," he said.

He asked whether this was why there was hesitation to make public the agreements.

"Samy Vellu should be ashamed of himself for protecting the interest of the company instead of the people by not wanting people to know about the agreement even though it was already public knowledge in 1996," he added.


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1 comment:

Rocky's Bru [Ahirudin Attan] said...

promahathir,
thank you for the info on court ruling re defamation suit. when it comes to defamation suit, according to my lawyers, our courts' kiblat is the UK and Europe not the US. but then again, this is defamation in cyber, so anything goes kot?

cheers.