There are five ways for Members of Parliament from both sides of the House to send a clear and unmistakable message to the world that they do not want a “cari makan” Public Accounts Committee or a “cari makan” PAC Chairman and to redeem the esteem, integrity, honour and good name of Malaysian Parliament.
Without these five measures, Members of Parliament from Malaysia will be the butt of jokes at international conferences as “cari makan” MPs – whether at Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conferences, International Parliamentary Union (IPU) gatherings or other international meetings, whether directly in their face or from their backs.
These five measures are:
1. Sack Datuk Hasan Arifin as PAC Chairman if Hasan does not have the humility and good sense to realise that he had committed an inexcusable and unpardonable parliamentary sin when he said that he had to “cari makan” as the reason why the PAC will not summon Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to its 1MDB investigations, and compounding his egregrious mistake by blaming the media for it instead of apologizing and owning up to his faux pax. This is a classic example of a public office holder mistaking his personal idiosyncrasy as a public imperative, the start on the road of corruption of public responsibilities for personal or private gain.
2. An official decision by the PAC to summon Prime Minister Najib to the PAC investigations on 1MDB as Najib is the only person who knows the ins-and-outs of the 1MDB scandal. 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 would have no personal knowledge like Najib of what happened in 1MDB in the past five years.
3. Rescinding of Hasan’s unilateral and arbitrary ban on PAC press conferences and instead reaffirmation of past practice of the PAC Chairman holding a media briefing after every PAC meeting until parliamentary reforms in Malaysia become a reality with PAC meetings being held in public as is the case with more and more Parliaments in the world.
4. Make public the Auditor-General’s interim report on 1MDB which was handed to the PAC in June and give an undertaking to table the PAC report on its resumed investigations into 1MDB latest by November 30, so that it could be debated in Parliament before it adjourns on Dec. 3.
5. All UMNO/BN MPs whether in the PAC or otherwise to declare their pecuniary interests in the 1MDB issue. As former MCA President Datuk Chua Soi Lek had admitted that the scandal of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts was related to UMNO/BN expenditures in the 13th General Elections campaign, all UMNO/BN MPs should declare whether they have any pecuniary interest in the matter, and if so, what amounts each had received as UMNO/BN candidate for the 13th general election campaign from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal banking accounts.
Are all the 222 MPs in Parliament prepared to support these five measures to ensure that Parliament does not become a “laughing stock” of parliamentarians all over the world as MPs of a “cari makan” Parliament?
(Speech at the DAP “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” ceramah at Nibong Tebal on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 10 pm)