Yesterday was a double whammy for the long, difficult and windy mission to establish accountability and transparency for the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega-scandals afflicting the country.
There was firstly the morning episode where Parliament was reduced to a theatre of the absurd – with Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia ruling that DAP PJ Utara Member of Parliament Tony Pua should either resign from the Public Accounts Committee or abstain from the committee’s probe on 1MDB if he wants to debate with 1MDB CEO, Arul Kanda and that Arul can no longer be a witness in the PAC probe if the debate goes on.
The Speaker’s ruling was quickly followed up with the announcement by the PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin’s ruling that Pua must cease and desist from making any statements on 1MDB, whether in Parliament or outside!
It is no surprise that the following comment was one of the public reactions to all these parliamentary calisthenics over the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega-scandals:
“I was wondering why Arul was so quick to drop his condition. Now I know. He has someone else to impose the condition for him.”
Then last night, the twin mega-scandal “spectacular” grounded on with the first public appearance of Tan Sri Gani Patail since his sudden removal as Attorney-General for over 13 years, two months before his compulsory retirement, purportedly on “health” grounds.
Gani’s appearance, and his cheeky statement that his health was “okay”, was the first instance Gani confounded the official statement that he had been removed for “health reasons” – reinforcing the question posed by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir recently asking where was Gani’s medical certificate as Gani had denied that he was sick.
There was a second instance last night where Gani’s appearance at the Bar Council forum on Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) was significant, as his silence on his controversial removal, particularly whether it was related to the allegation made by whistleblower site Sarawak Report that he was on the verge of charging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with corruption, or an alternative charge of criminal breach of trust, speaks louder than words!
Instead of getting to the bottom of the twin mega-scandals as clearly urged by the Malay Rulers in their unprecedented statement of concern on Oct. 6 and the strange goings-on in the past few months, including the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, the dissolution of the multi-agency Special Task Force on 1MDB and internal convulsions like arrests or instant transfers in key enforcement agencies, the derailment of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on 1MDB investigations for three months, Parliament is bogged down with the frivolous question on whether the Pua-Arul debate on 1MDB should be held.
Parliament has clearly lost its bearings.
If Arul Kanda cannot testify before the PAC investigations on 1MDB, will Najib himself appear before PAC to testify on 1MDB’s behalf, as it is very clear that an investigation into 1MDB is in fact an investigation into Najib himself!
At the rate Parliament has become a theatre of the absurd, it appears to be just a matter of time before “1MDB” joins the select group of subjects where mere criticism will be criminalized and construed as an act of sedition!
Should Public Accounts Committee just shut down its investigations into the twin mega-scandals to end the rigmarole?