Moggie has evaded the issue as to why the Cabinet had decided in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun project if the government had never wavered in its stand


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, September 5, 1995:

Moggie has evaded the issue as to why the Cabinet had decided in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun project if the government had never wavered in its stand that the project is economically viable

The Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Leo Moggie was reported in the press today as telling a briefing on Bakun for membersof the Barisan Backbenchers Club yesterday that the government maintains that the Bakun hydroelectric project is economically viable and that it had never wavered in its stand regarding the matter.

Moggie has evaded the issue as to why the Cabinet had decided in May 1990 to scrap the RM15 billion Bakun dam project if the government had never wavered in its stand that the project is economically viable.

The DAP MPs have made the controversial RM15 billion Bakun dam project one of the highlights in the current meeting of Parliament, and there are in fact two motions on the Parliamentary Order Paper directly related to the Bakun dam project.

However, although Moggie said the government had never wavered in its stand that the Bakun project is economically vaible, the government in general and the Energy Minister in particular is not ‘comfortable’ enough about the Bakun project to allow a full and unfettered debate in Parliament on Bakun or to allow the two DAP motions on Bakun to come up for debate.

One of the two motions concerns Moggie’s Ministerial statement on Bakun on the first sitting of Parliament on August 14 and his reply to my question on Bakun, where he had deliberately misled the House in denying that the Cabinet had taken a policy decision in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun dam project.

Call on Samy Vellu, as the then Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts to confirm or deny that the Cabinet had decided in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun dam project

Unfortunately, Moggie did not realise that I had solid documentary proof that he had misled Parliament and the country in giving such an answer – as both the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the then Minister for Energy, Telecom munications and Posts, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had publicly gone on public record that the Cabinet had decided to scrap the Bakun dam project and to opt for alternative hydroelectric dam projects.

I call on Samy Vellu as the then Minister for Energy to confirm or deny that the Cabinet had decided in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun dam project.

Challenge to Barisan Backbenchers’ Club to declare whether it is satisfied with Moggie’s explanation and proof that the Cabinet had not scrapped the Bakun dam project in May 1990 or whether it will support my motion to refer Moggie to the Committee of Privileges for breach of privilege.

I do not know whether Moggie had convinced the Barisan Backbenchers’ Club that he had not lied or misled Parliament in claiming that the Cabinet had not scrapped the Bakun project in May 1990.

I challenge the Barisan Backbenchers Club to declare whether it is satisfied with Moggie’s explanation and proof that the Cabinet had never taken a decision in May 1990 to scrap the Bakun dam project, and if so, whether the Barisan Backbenchers Club is prepared to openly declare thet it supports Moggie on the issue that the Cabinet had never scrapped the Bakun project in May 1990.

If Moggie has failed to satisfy the Barisan Backbenchers’ Club that the Cabinet had not scrapped the Bakun dam project in May 1990, then is the Barisan Backbenchers’ Club prepared to support my motion to refer Leo Moggie to the Committee of Privileges for breach of parliamentary privilege in misleading the House on this important matter?

This will be a crucial test as to whether the Barisan Backbenchers’ Club is capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and even more important, prepared to publicly take a stand between right and wrong – regardless of party or position.

I am disappointed that Moggie appears to be very biased against the formation of a Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environment and Development (MPGED) for MPs regardless of political party to focus on the two critical areas of environment and development, when he commented yesterday that he was “not sure if their motives are above board or politically motivated”.

Moggie should welcome the formation of the Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environment and Development, which proposes to examine and monitor the RM15 billion Bakun dam project as the first item of its agenda, and give the MPGED full co-operation instead of ciewing it with presonceived notions.

If Moggie is so confident about the financial, socioeconomic and environmental advantages and virtues the Bakun dam project, he should be the “Bakun diplomat extraordinary” ready to meet any group or person to “sell” the Bakun project – instead of hiding behind the comfort of Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club to give one-sided commentaries on the Bakun dam project.

As Chairman if the Malaysian Parliamentary Group on Environment and Development (MPGED), I want to assure Moggie that he will be welcome to give a briefing to the MPGED on Bakun dam project any time he feels confident of accepting such an open invitation.

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