It would appear that under the Malaysian system of parliamentary democracy, it is the Auditor General who is giving directive to Parliament and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) rather than the other way round.
After the PAC’s second meeting yesterday on the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB, the PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin announced that the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB will no longer be classified a state secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972 once the PAC tables its findings on it in Parliament.
He disclosed that the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang explained to the PAC that after the PAC report is tabled in Parliament, his final audit report on the 1MDB will no longer be an official secret document under the OSA.
This is most sad, shameful and even pathetic for the PAC Chairman should be telling the Auditor-General and the Executive that the classification of the AG’s final audit report on 1MDB ends when it is presented to the PAC last Friday, and not when the PAC presents its report to Dewan Rakyat in the indefinite future – this Parliament meeting by April 7 or some time at the end of the year?
Instead of the Chairman of a key parliamentary committee jealously safeguarding parliamentary dignity and privileges from intrusion and interference by the Executive, we have a clear example where an occupant of a key parliamentary position is servilely and supinely submitting to Executive trespass with parliamentary dignity and privileges.
Who decides that until the PAC submits its report to the Dewan Rakyat, the Auditor-General’s final audit report presented to the PAC last Friday should be kept under lock-and-key in the Parliament “strongroom” and that the 14 PAC members are not allowed to take the Auditor-General’s 300-page report home but can only access the Auditor-General’s Report in Parliament under humiliating conditions as if any premature leak of the Auditor-General’s report could lead to grave national security situations?
It is the height of contempt of Parliament for the Executive to classify the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB under the OSA although submitted to the PAC on Friday, and what is even more humiliating, imposing the rule that PAC members cannot take home the Auditor-General’s 300-page final audit report, and can only refer to the AG’s final audit report in Parliament’s “strong-room”!
Why not lock the “cari makan” PAC Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin together with the 13 other PAC members in the Parliament “strongroom”, requiring them to digest, understand and master the Auditor-General’s final audit report only in the Parliament “strongroom”?
When Ministers have access to OSA reports and documents, are they allowed to take these reports and documents home or to their offices to read, digest, understand and master them or are they locked in a Cabinet “strongroom” where they must complete the reading and understanding of the OSA reports concerned?
Not allowing PAC members to take home copies of the Auditor-General’s final audit report to read, understand and digest them is an intolerable and unacceptable Executive humiliation of parliamentary honour, dignity and privileges which must be purged by a special Parliamentary motion.
Why is Hasan Arifin as PAC Chairman so submissive as to submit to such humiliating, intolerable and unacceptable Executive trespass with parliamentary honour, dignity and privileges in the case of the PAC investigations into 1MDB?