The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman had committed a double contempt of Parliament when she defended her lie in Parliament in her reply to DAP MP for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng, claiming that Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members were informed about the deleted lines from the PAC Report on 1MDB.
In her written reply on Monday, Azalina had lied that PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin had informed or showed PAC members letter from Bank Negara Malaysia which stated that the information provided to the PAC was confidential for the purpose of intelligence only and not for court usage or public consumption.
DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua, who is a PAC Member has described Azalina’s answer as a lie, making very clear that after the the final PAC meeting on April 4 which approved the PAC report on 1MDB for publication, Hasan “never at any point of time communicated with the PAC members on any developments subsequent to the meeting on April 4”.
I have spoken to the Deputy Chairman of PAC, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (MP – Kepong) and he has confirmed that what Pua said was true and factual, and that PAC members were never informed about Bank Negara’s letter before PAC Report on 1MDB was tabled in Parliament on April 7, and that Azalina had told a lie in Parliament.
Thus, when Azalina yesterday denied that she lied to Parliament when she said PAC members had been informed about the deleted lines in the PAC report on 1MDB, and that Pua’s statement was untrue and made without any basis, Azalina had committed a double contempt of Parliament.
In her statement of “double contempt of Parliament” yesterday, Azalina said she was replying in her capacity as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Parliament, and that her reply was based on information given by the PAC secretariat that members of the committee have been informed about the PAC chairperson’s letter to the Bank Negara deputy governor on April 6.
Firstly, Azalina should know that her responsibility as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Parliament does not confer on her the privilege to tell lies in Parliament, let alone being guilty of “double contempt of Parliament”.
Secondly, Azalina should not resort to the cowardly refuge of “passing the buck” to a nameless person in the PAC secretariat but must bear responsibility for the truth or otherwise of her reply in Parliament.
Dr. Tan and Pua have said that Azalina had lied as they were never informed about the Bank Negara’s letter before the tabling of the PAC Report on 1MDB in Parliament on April 7.
Let all the other PAC members speak up, whether they had been informed by the PAC Chairman of the Bank Negara’s letter before the tabling of the PAC Report on 1MDB in Parliament on April 7.
In fact, let the PAC Chairman speak up, whether he had shown the Bank Negara letter to the other members of the PAC before April 7. In fact, let the Hassan produce the letter to MPs and the public.
If the PAC Chairman is not prepared to make such a clarification, is he fit to be PAC Chairman to ensure honesty, truth and integrity in the stewardship of public finances?
I am more intrigued why Azalina is trying to defend the indefensible in the deletion of the lines in the PAC Report on 1MDB concerning Bank Negara’s information that Good Star Ltd, into which US$1.03 billion from 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi International was diverted to, was owned by an individual and not linked to the PetroSaudi group as claimed.
Everyone who follows the long and shameful 1MDB saga know that the “mover and shaker” of 1MDB, Penang billionaire Jho Low, was in fact the owner of Good Star Ltd.
Why is Azalina trying to “wrap fire in pape”r, and join the “conspiracy of silence” to hide the true facts of the RM50-55 billion 1MDB global financial scandal from Members of Parliament and 30 million Malaysians – when it is the subject of international investigation by about seven different countries, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States?