Parliament will be opened by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Monday to kick off a 20-sitting of the first meeting of the 4th session of the 13th Parliament from 7th March to 7th April 2016.
I will be absent from the five weeks of Parliamentary meeting beginning on Monday as I had been suspended from Parliament for six months, not because I had committed any crime or corruption or anyway involved in the greatest corruption and financial scandal to hit the country in six decades – the 1MDB scandal and the Prime Minister’s multi-billion ringgit “donation” scandal – but because I had been in the forefront demanding full accountability and transparency on these two mega scandals.
In demanding full accountability and transparency for Najib’s twin mega scandals, I am suspended from Parliament for six months and have to sit out the 20-day meeting of Parliament from Monday, but those responsible for the twin mega scandals and for the cover-up of the twin mega scandals which have shaken the Prime Minister’s credibility and plunged Malaysia’s international image and standing to their lowest ebbs in the nation’s history do not suffer any restriction or constraint and are able to walks the Chamber of Parliament with immunity and impunity!
This is indeed the supreme irony of ironies, which illustrate why life in Malaysia, in the recent words of former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, is “turning upside down…The end seems to justify the means and anything, anything goes. The dividing line between good and bad, right and wrong, seem blurred”.
Barring the five years from 1999 to 2004 when I was not a Member of Parliament after losing in the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency in the 10th General Election, this will be the first time since I was elected Member of Parliament 47 years ago in 1969, that I will be missing the Royal Address at the official opening of Parliament each year.
I have only one wish on the Royal Address at the official opening of Parliament on Monday – that the Yang di Pertuan Agong will announce the establishment of a credible Royal Commission of Inquiry into Najib’s twin mega scandals.
The first term of the Prime Minister Najib was all about Najib’s 1Malaysia, which he wanted to convince Malaysians was not a fake. But Najib allowed the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s history to begin under his Premiership, making a total mockery of his 1Malaysia Policy.
Najib’s second term as Prime Minister is all about the 1MDB scandal, including his RM2.6 billion which has now mushroomed to RM4.2 billion “political donation” scandal, which even the world does not believe is “all over, no more an issue and had been resolved” – when the opposite is the case, with Najib’s mega financial scandals mushrooming like a nuclear cloud, ever bigger and bigger, dragging Najib’s credibility and Malaysia’s image further down the abyss.
I am reminded of this opening of Charles Dicken’s Tale of Two Cities, which was one of my literature text books in Form IV in the fifties, which said:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”
I think this describes aptly Malaysia today where the “Save Malaysia” gathering yesterday to sign and proclaim the Citizen’s Declaration involving three Tuns – including former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir – five Tan Sris including former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri MuhyiddinYassin, several Datuk Seris and Datuks, as well as political and civil society leaders, represent “the best of times”, “the epoch of belief”, “the season of Light” and “the spring of hope” while another event yesterday, the Public Accounts Committee meeting where the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB was, in a unprecedented development, classified under the Official Secrets Act qualifies to fit the categories of “worst of times”, “the age of foolishness”, “the epoch of incredulity”, “the season of Darkness” and “the winter of despair”.
In fact, the latest twist in the long saga to get to the bottom of seedy tale of Najib’s twin mega scandals has raised grave doubts that the journey could end with a full, comprehensive and no-holds-barred report by the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
It is completely unheard-of and a supreme contempt of parliamentary dignity and privileges that Parliament could be so insulted and humiliated by the Executive that the Auditor-General’s final audit report to the PAC is announced as classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
The PAC is a committee of Parliament, and an insult and humiliation of PAC is an insult and humiliation to Parliament and all the 222 MPs in the House, including the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers!
Is the Prime Minister, his Ministers and all MPs aware of the meaning and impact of the Executive insulting and humiliating PAC by stamping the OSA on the Auditor-General’s final audit report on the 1MDB when presented to PAC?
I am very disappointed by the former PAC Chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad who said that only supporting documents from the Auditor-General that accompany the PAC report on 1MDB are classified under the OSA.
This is completely unacceptable. The supporting documents from the Auditor-General tabled in PAC have become parliamentary documents and the OSA classification had ceased to exist, otherwise this make s a complete mockery of the assurance by the Prime Minister that the Auditor-General and PAC investigations would be a “tell all” investigations that will leave no stone unturned!
Is the Najib government seriously suggesting that supporting documents presented by the Auditor-General on 1MDB to PAC could be denied to all the 222 MPs?
The Prime Minister should announce without any ado that he has nothing to hide and that he has no objection whatsoever for the Auditor-General’s both reports, the interim and the final audit report, to be tabled in Parliament by the PAC without any classification under the OSA!
There are no signs that the PAC with a “cari makan” chairman will summon key personalities to its inquiry into the 1MDB, including the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali, 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, 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.
How can the PAC wrap up its investigations into the Najib’s twin mega scandals without summoning Najib, Jho Low and the other key personalities?
This is why my only wish is that the Royal Address by the Yang di Pertuan Agong opening Parliament on Monday will announce the establishment of a credible Royal Commission of Inquiry into Najib’s twin mega scandals – which is also the wish of the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who want Najib’s twin mega scandals to cease to haunt and hound the nation, as in the past year.
(Speech at the DAP fund-raising dinner for Sarawak state elections 2016 held at Chung Kwo Chinese primary school hall, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 5th March 2016 at 10 pm)