Is the “cari makan” Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin sick or well – whether it is “political sickness” or otherwise?
On the eve of the release of the long-awaited PAC Report on 1MDB on Thursday, the PAC Secretariat sent a text message to PAC members that Hasan would only answer media queries on the “anticipated” PAC report on 1MDB in the next Dewan Rakyat meeting, which is more than a month away from May 16 to May 26.
The PAC Secretariat informed PAC members that Hasan was ill and that he would not be holding a press conference on Thursday after the tabling of the PAC Report on 1MDB in Parliament, although he had “prepared a press statement to be distributed to the media tomorrow”.
The text message continued:
“YB Datuk Chairman is also asking for assistance to inform journalists that if they have any questions or want further explanations regarding the report, he will explain it in the coming Parliament session.”
Apparently, the PAC Chairman had been struck down by a yet-undisclosed sickness which, after his prepared media statement for the media on Thursday, will incapacitate him from answering media questions about the PAC Report on the 1MDB, until the next Parliamentary meeting starting on May 16.
This is indeed a strange sickness which Hasan had anticipated will last for some 40 days or seven weeks until the next Parliamentary meeting, and I must confess that I was uncharitable at the time in wondering whether this was more a “political disease” rather than a genuine sickness.
I was greatly surprised therefore that Hasan had to drag him out of “convalescence” yesterday to give a long exclusive media interview to Bernama, which basically want Malaysians to believe that the PAC Report on 1MDB had exonerated the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, from any wrongdoing or abuse of power in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal.
Before Hasan’s surprise interview from his “sick-bed”, various Cabinet Ministers and UMNO/BN leaders had issued media statements claiming that Najib had been exonerated by the PAC Report of any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal and that there should be a halt to all allegations accusing Najib of wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal – statements from the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak, the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who is also Director the BN Strategic Media Communications (whatever-that-means) and UMNO Information Chief Datuk Annuar Musa, among many others.
But these self-serving statements and claims by these UMNO/BN bigwigs had no credibility whatsoever and the PAC Chairman had to be forced to come out of his 40-day “convalescence” to stress that the PAC Report on 1MDB had exonerated Najib of any wrongdoing or abuse of power in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and that the PAC Report on the 1MDB is the final and definitive word on the 1MDB scandal.
Hasan Arifin cannot be more naïve or wrong, as he is trying to revise and rewrite the PAC Report on 1MDB, for the PAC report did not exonerate Najib of any wrongdoing or abuse of power in the 1MDB scandal.
Furthermore, the PAC Report is not the final and definitive word about the 1MDB scandal but only the tip of the iceberg of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal.
The challenge now is how to unveil and reveal the whole iceberg of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal.
This is why in Bagan this morning, I had called for a four-day Special Parliament session at the end of April or early May to debate the PAC report on the first Malaysian global scandal in the nation’s history.
If Hasan still insists that the PAC Report on 1MDB exonerates Najib from any wrongdoing or abuse of power in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, I challenge him to a public forum on “Has the PAC Report on 1MDP exonerated Prime Minister Najib from wrongdoings in RM50 billion 1MDB scandal?” in KL/PJ next Wednesday.
To provide a proper balance, I will invite the Pakatan Harapan MP on the PAC, Tony Pua, as well as other Malaysians concerned about the subject to the forum.
If Najib or the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy wants to participate in this forum, they are also welcome.
(Speech at the DAP “Pantang Undur – Berani Kerana Benar” kopitiam ceramah in his visit to 100th parliamentary constituency in Air Itam, Bukit Gelugor on Saturday, 9th April 2018 at 1 pm)