The Malaysian Parliament should not make world Parliamentary history by producing the first Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman in the world with a press conference-phobia, when his KPI should be to uphold government financial accountability and integrity starting with the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.
In his first month as PAC Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin (who was elected Member of Parliament only in May in the Rompin by-election) has also already carved out a place for himself in the Malaysian Parliamentary pantheon of well-known personalities, though not in any laudatory sense.
How can Hasan discharge his principal role as PAC Chairman to uphold government financial accountability and integrity when he is afraid of the press, to the extent that he has declared a total ban on press conferences.
Hasan has already given a rather knavish connotation to his position as PAC Chairman when he disarmingly admitted that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not be called as a witness to the PAC as he himself has to “cari makan”, but which he subsequently aggravated trying to deny he had made such remarks although it was captured on videotape by several journalists.
If anybody should be referred to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges for bringing Parliament into public contempt, ridicule and odium, it should be the new PAC Chairman first of all.
The Malaysian Parliament is suffering a serious case of schizophrenia.
We talk on the one hand of parliamentary reforms to catch up with developments all over the world to become a First-World Parliament, but our Parliamentarians, including the Speaker, is deeply stuck with a third-world Parliamentary mind-set.
All over the world, Public Accounts Committees (PAC) are holding their sessions in public, but in Malaysia, PAC is not only still a very secretive conclave, we now have a PAC Chairman so averse to the media that he has banned all PAC press conferences!
His decision not to call Najib to the PAC investigations into the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 1MDB twin mega scandals, without asking the PAC to decide on the matter, can only be described as most unilateral, high-handed and arbitrary.
It can only attract the question whether this is how he “cari makan” as the new PAC Chairman when everybody knows that any investigation into the twin mega scandals which does not summon Najib is a farce and an utter waste of time, as everybody including Hasan knows that Najib is the only person in the world who knows the ins-and-outs of the twin mega scandals.
The 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy is only the latest highly-paid “operative” who joined the “revolving-door” teams of 1MDB operatives in January this year and he would have no personal knowledge like Najib of what happened in the past five years.
Before the PAC can get on with its continued investigations into Najib’s twin mega scandals, Hasan’s own “cari makan” controversy must be resolved first.
Would Hasan apologise for the “cari makan” remark and make a solemn undertaking that he will not be guided by any “cari makan” mindset in carrying out his duties as PAC Chairman, particularly in the PAC investigations into the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals?