Why the SECRECY about The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry and hearings? Why should PAC members be GAGGED?
PUBLIC HEARING - that is what we should be having. We, the people of Malaysia, have the right to be present and hear the full proceedings of the PAC. Remember, Parliamentary proceedings are open to the public - in fact, even telecast live.
The PAC is a Parliamentary Committee, members of whom are MPs, - and so it must an OPEN HEARING.
Should PAC members be barred from expressing their views before the end of the Inquiry - well, personally, I believe that maybe they should because they are sitting as 'judges' here. When it comes to the final decision of the PAC, those with dissenting views should also have the right to speak/write and publish their dissenting minority views.
Will the PAC be independent? I wonder because as it stands, I believe the majority are BN MPs - and in our parliamentary system, BN MPs just 'follow' what their party bosses say. Likewise, Opposition MPs have a similar culture. I hope that the members of the PAC will be able to put aside this 'bad culture' and be just independent individuals looking into this matter - and will reach their final decisions without 'fear or favour'. BN MPs, please do not be concerned whether you will be chosen by Najib Tun Razak or your BN party leaders to be candidates in the next upcoming elections..
The PAC should not be concerned just on the question of whether 1MDB broke the laws - that is important, but it is secondary. They must be concerned whether 1MDB did things not in the best interest of Malaysia and Malaysians.
PACs are good - but really, what we need is the setting up of Parliamentary Select Committees tasked with the monitoring of all government-owned companies and also GLCs. No sense waiting for 'mistakes' to be made and then only trying to find fault and remedies.. Ongoing monitoring is essential.
Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad - Why no PAC set up to find out what went wrong, and who was responsible for the failings of MAS? When will this be done? If we do not do this, then the same persons may be making similar mistakes/actions again - the cycle repeats itself..
Now, the PAC has been making statements
Was this a view shared by all members of the PAC? If the chairman of the PAC can make statements to the media - certainly members of the PAC also can.“It was good as Arul gave full cooperation and gave us good answers,” said PAC chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin to reporters after yesterday’s proceedings. - Source – The Star (2 December 2015) - 1MDB Website
Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Liang Teck Meng is also a member of the PAC? What? And it is worse since he is making statements trying to affect public perception of a fellow PAC member in the middle of the inquiry. In my opinion, this is conduct unbecoming of a PAC member.
“I am ashamed as a PAC member. “How can we make a judgement based on publicly available documents,” he said at a press conference at the PGRM building this morning.
See also earlier post:-
‘PAC can close shop if Tony Pua keeps revealing information from probe’
Stop making biased 1MDB remarks, Gerakan MP tells Tony Pua
Liang said the fellow PAC member’s repeated “biased” statements against the state-owned investment firm in the midst of a probe begged the question whether he was asking to be suspended or removed from the inquiry.
“Instead of upholding the impartiality and integrity of the PAC, this member who is also part of the inquiry into 1MDB saw it fit to issue a statement that prejudiced the entire ongoing inquiry with ill-advised allegations such as ‘Expose the crooks behind the multi-billion ringgit scam behind 1MDB which has resulted in tens of billions of ringgit of taxpayers losses’.
“This Yang Berhormat is obviously basing his allegations on his own biased opinion and not on the accounts nor on the interviews of the many witnesses that the PAC have called on so far – and certainly not based on what the auditors have told us,” he said in a statement today. Liang did not name the fellow lawmaker, but it is likely he was referring to DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, who on January 1 had posted in his Facebook about exposing “crooks” behind 1MDB.
Liang, the Simpang Renggam MP, said Pua should carry out his duty as MP and focus on the facts and evidence presented to PAC.
Instead, Pua appeared to be trying to “prejudice and dishonour himself and the PAC”.
“This begs the question if this particular PAC member deliberately wants to be suspended or removed from the PAC inquiry into 1MDB by very clearly and repeatedly breaking the standing orders of the Parliament and the PAC?
“By literally begging for a suspension, ahead of the final findings of the PAC inquiry into 1MDB, does he want to pre-empt the findings to play the victim in order to create a public perception that he has been unfairly blocked from ‘uncovering the truth and exposing the crooks’?”
Pua has been one of 1MDB’s chief critics from the opposition bench, frequently disputing the Finance Ministry-owned firm’s explanations on its dealings and debts. – Malaysian Insider, January 3, 2016.
1MDB winter far from over, says Pua
"I beg to disagree with the Prime Minister’s New Year Message claiming that this fulfilled his promise made in June," the party's national publicity chief Tony Pua said in a statement last night.
He argued that 1MDB survived only because it was "bailed out" using government assets.
Pua posited that 1MDB remains “alive” today not because of its own business acumen and realised profits, but through the fire sale of national assets which it got for cheap and then sold off at a higher price.
He pointed that this was especially true of the latest transaction where 1MDB sold a 60 percent stake in Bandar Malaysia to a consortium of companies partly led by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) for RM7.41 billion.
While admitting that it was "unquestionably profitable" and may reduce some of 1MDB’s remaining RM32 billion of debt after the earlier Edra Global disposal, Pua noted that the sale is funded by the taxpayers as the government gave away the prime piece of property to 1MDB at the bargain basement price of RM1.6 billion in 2012.
He accused Najib and 1MDB of trying to pull wool over the rakyat's eyes through the so-called rationalisation of 1MDB debt which he labelled as "an outright lie".
1MDB remains deeply in debt
"Clearly, Najib and the 1MDB executives are hoping to fool Malaysians into thinking that the monstrous 1MDB scandal has been fully resolved and the dusts are meticulously swept under the carpet."
The facts though speak otherwise, claims Pua.
"1MDB remains deeply in debt to the tune of RM20 billion despite the multi-billion-ringgit indirect bailout by the federal government. Malaysians will enter the New Year knowing that come June next year (2016), we will likely be rocked with another multi-billion-ringgit bailout which Malaysian taxpayers can ill-afford."
Worse, he pointed out that this latest “bailout” was proof of mismanagement and grave wrongdoings in the wholly-owned Finance Ministry subsidiary, which remain unaddressed until today.
Pua claimed that 1MDB has failed to absolve itself over the loss of billions in a slew of questionable business dealings, and after having borrowed billions of ringgit, got almost nothing to show for it.
"Unlike some people, the majority of Malaysians will certainly not easily forgive and forget such outrageous shenanigans by the BN government.
“My 2016 resolutions will be to ensure that all those responsible for the tens of billions of ringgit loses are exposed for their misdeeds," vowed Pua. - Malaysiakini, 1/1/2015