Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin said yesterday that the public should not doubt the PAC report on 1MDB as the committee members were made up of parliamentarians from both sides of the House, and the public must be confident of the transparency of the report to be tabled in Parliament.
Hasan is solely to blame for public doubts about the independence, transparency and professionalism of the PAC report on 1MDB, as there was no such doubt when Datuk Seri Nur Jazlan Mohamad was Chairman of the PAC.
Hasan should ask himself why the sea-change in the public attitude to the PAC after he was appointed PAC Chairman in October?
Never mind Hasan’s “Freudian slip” about being “cari makan” PAC Chairman, but he undermined public confidence in PAC when he showed a total lack of any sense of urgency and priority to complete the PAC investigations on 1MDB in the shortest possible time – after the PAC had been sabotaged from continuing its 1MDB investigations for four months.
I myself was suspended from Parliament for six months for protesting against such sabotage of PAC investigations on the 1MDB.
Such dilatory attitude and procrastination with the PAC under Hasan taking its own sweet time to conduct 1MDB investigations changed overnight after the couple of national and international firestorms ignited by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali’s exoneration of Najib of any criminal wrongdoing for the RM2.6 billion donation and RM42 million SRC International scandals, resulting in reports about investigations into the 1MDB scandal world-wide, like Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, United States and United Kingdom.
There was suddenly a sense of urgency to wrap up the PAC investigations into 1MDB as soon as possible, as the carefully-stitched story about the innocence and professionalism of the 1MDB, while remaining intact locally, seems to be coming apart from the spate of international reports which are not under the control or influence of Najib’s image-makers.
Public confidence in the independence, transparency and professionalism of the PAC under Hasan had also been undermined by two other factors:
• Firstly, the refusal to summon important witnesses including the Attorney-General Apandi, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the Chief Commissioner for MACC, Tan Sri Abu Kassim, the MACC director (special operations) Bahri Mohamed Zin, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and the former Special Branch deputy director Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador and of course the two most important witnesses for PAC investigations into 1MDB – the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Penang-born billionaire Jho Low.
Najib is the only person, apart from Jho Low, who knows the ins-and-outs of the RM2.6 billion ‘donation’ and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals in the past six years, as Arul Kanda Kandasamy is only the latest ‘operative’ to join the ‘revolving-door’ teams of operatives who had been employed to take orders to run the 1MDB in the past six years.
Why is the PAC under Hasan afraid to call Najib?
The PAC under Nur Jazlan as Chairman had decided on July 24 last year that Low Taek Jho should appear before it on Sept. 8 to testify on the 1MDB scandal. Why was this decision rescinded by Hasan?
• Secondly, the shabby treatment of the media by Hasan as the PAC Chairman.
Yesterday, reporters were barred from entering Parliament to cover the PAC meeting on 1MDB. Reporters had to wait outside the Parliament building. Can Hasan explain why he has adopted such a hostile attitude towards the media as PAC Chairman, treating the media virtually as the enemies of transparency, accountability and good governance in Malaysia? Is Hasan going to apologise for such shabby treatment of the media?