PAC’s first job is to submit an immediate report to Parliament to amend Standing Orders so that PAC can hold public hearings into its examination of 2012 Auditor-General’s Report as is now the practice in most legislatures in the world

The Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants live television coverage of his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to prove himself right and the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang wrong over the expenses of the K-Pop concert last year.

Shabery had challenged the 2012 Auditor-General’s Report that the K-Pop concert, which was part of the mammoth 2012 Hari Belia celebrations, had cost the government RM1.6 million, claiming that the auditor-general was “culas” (not diligent) in the audit and did not take into account the RM20 million in sponsorship raised.

Strangely, the current Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also said the government paid for the concert, but was forced to do so because sponsorship pledges fell through.

Shabery should be given the opportunity of live telecast of his testimony before the PAC on the Auditor-General’s 2012 Report on the government expenditure of RM1.6 million for the K-Pop concert, when the Ministry had claimed right from the beginning that the cost of bringing in the three K-Pop groups – U-Kiss, Teen-Topo and Dal*shabet – was borne through sponsorship.

Let Shabery respond to the Auditor-General’s 2012 Report on the Youth Ministry when he was the Minister, including the Auditor-General’s reprimand of “excessive” and “imprudent” spending, amounting to RM3 million on this and eight other prorammes to mark the 2012 Hari Belia.

A total of RM1.11 million was spent on promotion and publicity for the event, which the auditor-general described as too high.

Other expenses similarly classified were:

*Two separate payments of RM50,000 to 50 bloggers for promotion and publicity.

*Three bloggers paid a total of RM7,500 as daily allowance for five days’ coverage of the event.

*Spending on ‘non-prudent’ items such as RM33,500 for a promotional dinner at a Petaling Jaya hotel and RM42,466 for hi-tea and to lodge journalists at Hotel Marriot in Putrajaya.

*Another RM48,300 spent on a ‘working visit’ to Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara in Jitra, Kedah, and then to Songkhla, Phuket and Krabi in Thailand. The trip involved 21 personnel from the National Youth Day secretariat as well as senior ministry officers.

Shabery’s appearance before the PAC will be a good precedent for all other Ministers to appear before the PAC to explain the waste, negligence, malpractices, abuses of power and corruption causing grave and unacceptable losses of public funds in their Ministries under their watch, for if the former Youth and Sports Minister can appear before the PAC, there is no reason why other Ministers, whether Education, Home, Works, Tourism, Transport, Health, Rural and Regional Development, Agriculture, Defence, Finance or even the Prime Minister cannot appear before the PAC on grounds of accountability, transparency and integrity under the Government Transformation Plan.

However, under the present Standing Orders, the PAC cannot hold public hearings – another example where the Malaysian Parliament has lagged behind legislatures all over the world in parliamentary reforms as the majority of Parliaments, including the House of Commons, have now progressed to public hearings for the PAC to allow for greater accountability and transparency.

PAC’s first job is to submit an immediate report to Parliament when it reconvenes on Oct 21 to amend the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders so that PAC can hold public hearings into its examination of 2012 Auditor-General’s Report as is now the practice in most legislatures in the world.

The 89 Members of Parliament from Pakatan Rakyat are prepared to give support to allow the PAC to immediately conduct public hearings.

Are the Barisan Nasional MPs prepared to co-operate with the PR MPs to give effect to the parliamentary reform to allow the PAC to hold public hearings to allow both members of the public as well as the media to be present at its meetings?

  1. #1 by Winston on Friday, 11 October 2013 - 5:44 pm

    Malaysia a model of diversity, progress: Kerry – End of quote from theSundaily

    Either this piece was written by the best of the best spinners or the opposition in this country will have a lot of hard work on its hands to correct the short sightedness of Mr Kerry.

  2. #2 by Noble House on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 3:38 am

    KJ has unwittingly raised a RM20 million question mark that had somebody foaming at the mouth.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 7:47 am

    ///Shabery’s appearance before the PAC will be a good precedent…///

    Agreed. Always give people a chance for an explanation if you think they have done wrong.

  4. #4 by drngsc on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 8:58 am

    Yes, let Shabery come and also the other ministers.
    Lets see it live on TV.
    It should make good entertainment and also promote the case of transparency and accountability.

  5. #5 by Di Shi Jiu on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 9:52 am

    Public hearings by the PAC are an excellent way for the public to have confidence in the management of the country.

    An open and transparent process of inquiry will also put Malaysia up there with world’s best practices.

    Surely BN would love to have public confidence in a world’s best practice? On the other hand …..

  6. #6 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Saturday, 12 October 2013 - 10:17 am

    So they got 20m ringgit sponsorship for (what?) a concert featuring some koreans pop-stars (or was it a mere celebration)???

    Do you know how long it takes for a chinese primary school to raise something like 3-4 million to build a new block or a new hall? Something like 2yrs! If not longer. 3-4 million collected over a period of time for somehing that could last a lifetime and that could benefit society and the country for generations to come.

    How on earth could an umno minister raise 20m for a mere concert?

    Oh yeah, cheek. You hv a lot of explaining to do. You mooted the idea of going public and now you jolly well tell us the whole story in public. For a start, who were the sponsors? Tell you cheek.

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