KOTA KINABALU July 13, 2012: The Federal Government has been urged to investigate and find out the reasons for the shoddy work on the RM565 million Sapulut-Kalabakan road project.
When the project was completed, the 179km road should have been sealed but instead, it was still a gravel road, prompting the Federal Government had to spend another RM270 million to have the stretch sealed, he said.
“What is even more worrying is the rumours that four elected representatives benefited from the contract,” he said when debating the Supplementary Supply Bill at Dewan Negara recently.
Kong said the Sapulut-Kalabakan road project was a clear case of supervisory failure.
“How could the Government accept the incomplete project? And what caused this?” he asked.
The Sabah MCA deputy chief urged the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to carry out an immediate and detailed investigation on the project so that the offenders can be charged.
Kong was of the opinion that the Government should investigate larger corruption cases that are of national and public interest instead of focusing too much of its attention on smaller graft cases.
Citing Hong Kong and other countries, he said such approach was found to be more effective in combating corruption in those countries.
“In Hong Kong, small corruption cases were pardoned for the sake of nabbing recipients and givers of larger cases of corruption. By granting pardon to offenders in smaller corruption cases, the Government would be able to gain their cooperation to solve larger cases of corruption,” he said.
“We need to fight corruption especially those that involve power abuse by individuals for their own personal interest,” he said.
Kong was also of the opinion that there are simply too many corruption cases in the country that involve national and public interests in the past 30 years.
Even though action has been taken on most of the cases, Malaysia’s position in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) fell four steps from 56th place to 60th place last year, he lamented.
“In order to combat corruption, there must be political will, otherwise we are only lying to ourselves if we are not sincere to fight against it by taking action only on small offenders but not against those in high positions and with huge influence,” he said.
Corruption and leakages are the causes of huge losses to the country and its finances, he said.
“We must learn from the financial and economic crisis in Europe such as in Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain. The crisis was due to power abuse and leakages that happened in the countries concerned,” he said.
Because of that, the people in these countries have to suffer, he added.
Kong also asked why corporate figures such as Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the younger brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, are questioning the effectiveness of the nation’s efforts in combating corruption in the country.
It is very important for the Government of the day is to have the political will to fight corruption and ensure it does not happen again in the future, he said.
The MACC should be really free from influence and pressure from any individuals, government departments or even the Federal Cabinet, he said.
“It must be bold in taking action without fear or favour,” he said.