KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng wants to know whether Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong will accuse Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa of lying following his revelations about the Apricot Subsea Cable System Project.
In a statement today, Lim accused Wee of allowing his ego to get in the way of his job after Annuar’s comments that Wee’s cabotage policy was defective and led to Malaysia losing billions in revenue.
The DAP secretary-general also said Wee hit back at former Malaysian Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chairman Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, after the latter stated publicly that he disagreed with Wee’s decision to revoke the cabotage exemption, yet fresh evidence shows Wee’s policy reversal had a negative effect on the country’s income.
“After Wee attacked Rais in Parliament as wrong to link his cabotage policy with the loss of these critical investments, Rais resigned several days later stating that he refused to become a ‘Yes-man’!
“Now the KKMM minister has openly repudiated Wee as wrong. Will either one of the ministers have to resign? More importantly, who is telling the truth and guilty of misleading Parliament when both contradictory replies are made in Parliament?” Lim said in a statement.
Yesterday, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim received a written reply from Annuar which said Wee’s decision to revoke the cabotage exemption led to investors bypassing Malaysia.
Annuar’s reply read: The selection of countries to participate in the installation of the Apricot internet subsea cables is the decision of Facebook and Google. Malaysia was not listed (bypassed) as one of the countries involved for a cable landing station in view that the cabotage exemption policy has yet to be resolved.”
In April, Facebook and Google revealed they would lay two huge subsea cables that will link the US West Coast to Singapore and Indonesia, South-east Asia’s biggest economy and home to a growing number of smartphone users, bypassing Malaysia.
The cabotage row began when Wee, in November 2020, revoked the exemption made by his Pakatan Harapan predecessor Anthony Loke.
Shortly after the revocation, Rais issued a public statement criticising the exemption reversal.
He resigned from MDEC two days ago, following his remarks likening Wee to a “minister with an IQ of a cabbage” on social media.
Following that, Lim challenged Wee to a debate on the cabotage policy but Wee has yet to set a date for the debate.
Lim noted that Wee had said the Cabinet will make a final decision early this month and asked why the minister could not set the debate date for October 23.
He asserted that Wee’s decision to bring back cabotage has caused Malaysia to be excluded from the Apricot project by Facebook and Google, losing out on potential high tech investment opportunities worth up to RM15 billion.