KUALA LUMPUR: Former transport minister Loke Siew Fook (PH-Seremban) told the Dewan Rakyat today that it was a DAP leader who saved the armed forces pension fund from suffering a loss of RM555 million in a government bailout.
Loke said it was he, as transport minister then, who had suggested that the fund (LTAT) be reimbursed the RM555 million it spent to take over the concessions for the Automated Enforcement System (AES) for driving offences.
He said his Cabinet colleague, Mohamad Sabu (PH-Kota Raja), then the defence minister, had agreed to the suggestion.
Reading out the Public Accounts Committee’s report on the AES project, he said it was then prime minister Najib Razak who had proposed that LTAT take over AES from concessionaires Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn Bhd for RM555 million.
Loke said this suggested political interference at the highest level and that Najib was trying to use LTAT funds to resolve problems created by the government.
“It was a transport minister from DAP, often maligned by the other side as anti-Malay and anti-Bumiputera, who suggested that RM555 million be returned to LTAT,” he told the House.
“If the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government then had not made such a decision, LTAT’s money would have been ‘burnt’ and the veterans would face problems,” he said during the debate on a bill to amend the Armed Forces Fund Act.
He urged active servicemen and veterans to read the PAC report and come to their own conclusion about which government had held their best interests at heart.
The Public Accounts Committee released its report on the takeover of the AES earlier today. It noted that the cost of the exercise had been inflated.
Loke said it was the PH government that revived the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase 2 project (KVDT2).
“After (the PH government) fell, who cancelled the project?” he said, pointing out that Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) of MCA, who had taken over as transport minister, “put aside LTAT’s interests and cancelled the project”.
The KVDT2 project involves the rehabilitation of 265km of railway tracks from Salak South in Kuala Lumpur to Seremban and from Simpang Port Klang near MidValley in Kuala Lumpur to Port Klang.
The project has been delayed twice since 2017. It was cancelled by the PH government, reinstated, then cancelled again by the Perikatan Nasional government, leading to a suit.
The dispute was settled in June after the government agreed to let the contractor, Dhaya Maju-LTAT, carry on with the project.