MCA Deputy president, Datuk Seri Ir Wee Ka Siong said the failure to accept debate on the matter not only tarnishes the Penang Chief Minister’s image but also paints him as someone who is afraid to accept the challenge. (Pic by HALIM SALLEH)

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP secretary-general continues to give excuses to avoid having a debate on the Penang tunnel project.

MCA Deputy president, Datuk Seri Ir Wee Ka Siong said the failure to accept debate on the matter not only tarnishes the Penang Chief Minister’s image but also paints him as someone who is afraid to accept the challenge.

“The latest excuse , which is also his eighth excuse is when he said that in the United States presidential election, debate does not necessarily take place between the president and the vice-president.

“I don’t understand why he had resort to the US presidential election as an excuse. I would like to remind him that this debate is in relation to a scandal involving a RM20.5 billion project and as a state assemblyman, Member of Parliament as well as the Chief Minister, he had been defending the project, in the last few years.

“Lim continues to stress that he is DAP’s No. one leader but suddenly he declines to debate with me who only happens to be a No. two MCA leader. Guan Eng continues to insist that he is number one in his DAP and refuses to debate me who is number two in MCA - claiming that "he must respect basic political etiquette and democratic decorum".

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said since Kit Siang had taken a keen interest in the Penang Tunnel scandal recently when defending Guan Eng and even called Wee a variety of colourful names, then he should be qualified to debate with the DAP parliamentary leader, who is seen as the No. 2 leader in the opposition party.

“However, this would effectively contradict Guan Eng’s statement that I should only debate him by contesting in Bagan seat as I am a so-called ‘outsider’.”

He adds that if Guan Eng would have his own father, a person who holds no positions in the state government and no elected positions in the state, to represent the Chief Minister of Penang to debate him, it is as if there is no difference whether Kit Siang is a family member or in the state government.

“Guan Eng would be in effect pulling in outside help. In this instance, that outside help because Kit Siang is the father of the Penang Chief Minister. Yet, he does not want ‘outsiders’ to debate him on the Tunnel issue plaguing him.”

Wee said that Guan Eng had also insisted that he name which state government leader had allegedly received millions of ringgit.

“Let me remind Guan Eng that naming and charging the corrupted official or officials is the job of the MACC and the Attorney-General's office. That is not my job.”

“However, I can name a top Penang state official who is allegedly close to a person recently arrested who had received RM19mil in payments in a failed attempt to stop investigations by MACC into the Penang tunnel project.

“This state official is close to that person and had been photographed visiting his house and also photographed in a car at the same time when that person started receiving the RM19mil in payments.”

Wee said the naming of the corrupted state officials should be left to the MACC.

He adds that his concern is the incredibly lop-sided concession agreement and lack of accountability and transparency in such a large project that involves tens of billions in public funds.

“For this, you owe the people of Malaysia an answer that can only be found via an open debate on this tunnel scandal,” he said.

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