Parliamentary and national attention had been focused in the past few days on the debate between DAP PJ Utara MP and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua and the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy on the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and the threat by the Speaker, Tan Sri Padikar Amin Mulia’s of resignation by Monday if the debate is held and televised live by RTM tomorrow on Friday.
Pandikar defended his ruling on the ground that he is upholding the integrity of Parliament.
Wouldn’t Parliament’s credibility and integrity suffer greater damage if there is protracted and inordinate delays in PAC investigations into the 1MDB scandal, particularly if there is no PAC report on the 1MDB scandal when the current meeting of the Dewan Rakyat ends on December 3?
Pandikar asked what was wrong for the proposed debate to be conducted after the PAC had submitted its report to Parliament?
There is nothing wrong, but it would be academic.
A “live discussion, talk show or debate” between Pua and Arul at this time command national attention precisely because of the protracted and inordinate delays caused by the various circumstances and investigative bodies, including the PAC, to get to the bottom of the reasons and causes of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, and if there has still to be a debate on these issues post-PAC Report, it could only mean that the PAC had failed in its terms of reference in giving definitive answers, leaving the reasons and causes of the 1MDB scandal still very open-ended!
It should be a matter of grave concern to the Speaker, all Parliamentarians and Malaysians that despite three-month PAC derailment of the 1MDB investigations until the appointment of a new PAC Chairman and filling of the other three PAC vacancies, the new PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin has no sense of urgency or priority to make up for the lost three-months.
Arul and the previous 1MDB CEO Shahrol Halmi were to appear before the PAC on August 4 and 5, after absconding from their previous PAC appearances on May 26, until the PAC investigations into 1MDB investigations were derailed for three months in a major 1MDB exercise involving 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.
Anyone would have thought that the first item of business of the reconstituted PAC under a new Chairman this Monday would be to immediately follow-up on the PAC’s schedule in its 1MDB investigations, as calling up the present and past 1MDB CEOs, Arul and Sharol to appear before the PAC to testify about the 1MDB.
But this was not the case, as no date had been fixed for resuming the PAC investigations into 1MDB interrupted three months ago.
From all indications, no report by the PAC on the 1MDB would be tabled in the current Parliament before it adjourns on Dec.3 to enable MPs to specifically debate the 1MDB issue before the end of the budget meeting.
As Pandikar is talking about upholding the integrity of Parliament, shouldn’t he impress on the PAC Chairman Datuk Arifin Hasan and the PAC the importance of the PAC presenting its report on the 1MDB to allow for MPs to debate the issue before the end of the current meeting of Parliament on Dec. 3?