This morning I took on Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Minister of Finance over the corporatisation of customs.
Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan (the infamous I forgot six words on 1MDB letter of support fiasco) says the government will corporatise the Customs department next year. I asked him if the Malaysian government intend to pay any commission on collection of duties by this new corporate entity. The Minister avoided the question and started talking about chicken and ikan bilis prices. I had to interject him again and ask him to answer my question. He mumbled that it was under consideration. Then he continued talking about chicken and ikan bilis.
At 5.30pm I took on the other Deputy Finance Minister, YB Chua Tee Yong also on the issue of corporatisation. This time the debate was about the corporatisation of the Inland Revenue Board.
UMNO MP Kuala Selangor had asked the Deputy Minister to explain how the corporatisation of LHDN benefited the country. Then, another UMNO MP Pasir Gudang asked the Deputy Minister to elaborate further. All three were under the wrong impression that LHDN has been corporatised. LHDN has never ever been corporatised nor is there any plan to do so in the near future.
YB Chua happily defended the fictional corporatisation saga for about 10 minutes. When he finished I asked him if he had in fact made a gigantic mistake. He was caught out and agreed that LHDN has never been corporatised. I suggested that he retract his corporatisation answers from Hansards.
How can a Minister not know such a basic fact from his own ministry?