His grudging and official confession came in the tsunami wake of a Universiti Malaysia (UM) research paper published 4 years ago (but only exposed recently) which averred that bumi equity passed the 30% mark 10 years ago. That UM revelation confirmed think-tank Asli's study report which claimed bumi equity has already surpassed 45%.
So 6 days after a highly qualified minister in the Finance ministry with a PhD in economics and who had served as assistant governor in Bank Negara, made that official announcement in Parliament, tra la la, along came Effendi Norwawi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, to tell us that Dr Awang’s figure was inaccurate as the bumi equity numbers should stand at 21.8%. Effendi Norwani then, like David Copperfield, did a few factorisations, and voila, the 21.8% became, coincidentally, the official 9MP’s 18.9%.
Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang pounced on Effendi’s out-of-Parliament rubbishing of Dr Awang’s figures (presented earlier to Parliament) as contempt of Parliament.
He said: “A clarification of any government statement made in the House should be made inside the House, as otherwise it is a blatant case of contempt of Parliament.”
“(In) this case, such contempt has been doubly compounded as such clarification was timed for the Umno general assembly instead of rectifying a misleading statement made in Parliament.”
However, if Effendi has been correct, then he averred that Dr Awang had misled Parliament with incorrect statistics.
But hey, this is Malaysia Boleh - so f**k universal parliamentary ethics or standards. Thus Dewan Rakyat (lower House) Speaker Ramli Ngah Talib rejected Lim’s motion, saying that while the statistics cited by Dr Awang have given rise to confusion, disciplinary action against him was not warranted.
Note Ramli didn't say Effendi's statement has given rise to confusion - nope, not with the current UMNO general assembly in sesssion. Poor Dr Awang, he had to be the sacrificial kambing (goat).
Ramli Ngah stated: “I agree there is confusion, but I believe they (Effendi and Awang Adek) did not have any intention to mislead the House. I hope they can offer an explanation at a later time in this House.”
… which, like the case of Cyclops - remember that UMNO bloke from Jasin,
Johor Melaka who told Customs to close one eye to his importation of non-permitted timber? – won’t see any further light.