Do you regret challenging me to debate cabotage policy? Guan Eng asks Ka Siong

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong addresses members of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 5, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today asked Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong why he has been silent after challenging him to debate the government’s cabotage policy.

The Opposition lawmaker asked Wee if he regretted issuing the dare.

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“Does Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong regret issuing his challenge to debate me on the cabotage exemption policy after Communication and Multimedia (KKMM) Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa’s parliamentary reply that it was Wee’s unresolved cabotage exemption policy that caused the Apricot’s 12,000 kilometer-long submarine cable to bypass Malaysia?” Lim asked.

He pointed out that Annuar has so far stood by his parliamentary reply to Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim on the issue.

“Is this the reason why Wee has remained silent after issuing the challenge to me in Parliament on 30 September to debate on his cabotage exemption policy, apart from Wee replying to the Parliament Speaker Azhar Harun’s letter on me referring Wee to the Committee of Privileges for misleading Parliament?” Lim asked further.  

In a letter dated October 11, Azhar ordered Wee to explain the cabotage issue in Parliament and told the latter to include supporting documents too.

In the letter, Azhar noted that Wee’s explanation in Parliament on September 30 contradicted the written replied given by Annuar regarding the Apricot Subsea Cable System Project.

In the letter, Azhar also said Wee has been referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for allegedly issuing misleading statements in Parliament.

Lim said none of his DAP lawmaker colleagues have received any update from Wee on the cabotage debate.

He said that Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming, who was responsible for liaising with Wee’s office, reported that no one from the MCA president’s office has contacted him so far.

“I had even proposed October 23, Saturday night as the time for the proposed debate,” Lim added.

The Bagan MP said he has now asked Kulai MP Two Nie Ching to handle arrangements for the debate, with Ong undergoing quarantine after being infected with Covid-19 last week.

“I hope that Wee will stop making personal attacks against me but respond constructively to this important issue.

Wee and Lim have been bickering publicly over the cabotage policy for the past few months.

On September 30, Wee had denied in the Dewan Rakyat that his decision to revoke the cabotage exemption policy caused the Apricot Subsea Cable System Project by Facebook and Google to bypass Malaysia.

On October 5, writing on his Facebook, Wee said he is ready to debate former finance minister Lim over the national cabotage policy and a date for it will be announced soon.

He said he will not run away from challenges and will arrange for a suitable date to debate the matter professionally over any TV channel or media outlet.

“Let’s use Bahasa Malaysia so that every Malaysian will understand more about the cabotage policy,” he wrote.

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