Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung launched Malaysian Institute of Accountant’s new standards boards on June 9.
Datuk Chor had once been chairman of scandal-hit Port Klang Authority (PKA). But, he said, “Other than visiting the PKFZ and receiving reports pertaining to the development of the PKFZ … at every board meeting … I was never involved in any other activities on the PKFZ.” (Edge June 10).
A strangely hands-off approach given that the Auditor-General himself had raised warning points as early as May 2004 and as the cost ballooned 6-fold from under RM2bn to RM13bn and counting … And this man is now Deputy Finance Minister.
Directors are supposed to exercise diligence and oversight, even more so in the case of government bodies like PKA which ultimately belong to the taxpayers. Yet, Datuk Chor seems to think merely receiving reports is sufficient fulfilment of his director duties.
Somewhat ironic then that he officiated at the launch of the Audit and Assurance Standards Board and Ethics Standards Board of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants at no less than the headquarters of the Securities Commission.
“Honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability are the key words in good corporate governance,” said Chor according to the Sun on June 10.
Those words ring hollow in the wake of PKFZ.
Besides fulfillment, or the lack of, of his director duties, Datuk Chor was also in a conflict of interest situation. Reporting accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers noted Datuk Chor was also deputy chairman of Wijaya Global Sdn Bhd, which was linked to a key beneficiary of contracts signed with PKA when he was PKA chairman.