Politics

1MDB: Pakatan member of PAC guarantees non-partisan probe

Nikita Nawawi
Written by Nikita Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 20, 2015: A PKR member of the Public Account Committee (PAC) has given his assurance that the probe on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)  will be impartial.

PKR treasurer-general William Leong Jee Keen who is the Selayang member of Parliament and sits in the committee said the public may appraise the equitability of PAC once the report on the 1MDB issue has been released.

“The proceeding’s report will be available for public’s assessment. They may read the questions we asked, the answers we received and decide for themselves,” he said.

William also dismissed the speculations raised on the committee’s competency in conducting investigations without the Auditor General’s report, claiming that PAC members are not required to audit any account.

“We have asked the AG (Auditor General) for the audit on 1MDB but it is taking too long. This is a pressing matter and we had to proceed (immediately).

“Besides, we are for now just questioning people of interests to get a clearer picture on the cash flow of the company,” he added.

Other Pakatan members of Parliament who sit in PAC are the committeee deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong), Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas (PKR-Telok Kemang), Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat) and Tony Pua Kiam Wee (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara).

Barisan Nasional on its part is represented in the PAC by  committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (Umno-Pulai), Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (Umno-Kepala Batas), Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir (Umno-Kulim Bandar Baru), Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Umno-Masjid Tanah), Datuk Liang Teck Meng (MCA-Simpang Renggam), Datuk Madius Tangau (UPKO-Tuaran), Hasbi Habibollah (PBB-Limbang) and Datuk Wee Jeck Seng (MCA-Tanjung Piai).

PAC’s effectiveness and impartiality had been questioned by many quarters concerning the 1MDB issue.

A prominent anonymous blogger published a post on his site, Another Brick in The Wall which questioned the committee’s  level of competence to conduct its own investigation even before being furnished with the AG’s report on 1MDB.

He wrote: “PAC relies on the AG’s report to initiate investigation on misconduct. This time they will begin without any report from AG.

“It is rather odd because other than a few, PAC members are only politicians and not trained and skilled in undertaking auditing, or any form of investigation,” he wrote.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on the other hand, hinted that the AG’s report alone would not be sufficient for PAC to conduct its investigation.

The statesman had posted on his blog yesterday: “The AG can audit but it is not going to reveal much.

“The better thing to do is to set up a commission, the members of which should not be chosen by the Government, to scrutinise every act of 1MDB,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Nur Jazlan when contacted also guaranteed a non-partisan investigation as the report on 1MDB would be in consensus of all members of the committee that consist of both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan blocs.

“It would not make sense for any quarter to dispute the decision that everyone had agreed upon.

“All questions that they inquire or speculate should be addressed during the hearing,” he said.

PAC has started the investigation into 1MDB yesterday.

It had among others called for questioning Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who is also a member of the 1MDB advisory board and Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Seri Dr Rahamat Bivi Yusoff.

The committee had decided at a meeting on April 30 that it would launch the investigation even before the AG completes the audit, which  initial report was scheduled to be released by the end of next month.

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About the author

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi

Nikita Nawawi is an up-and-coming writer who started his involvement in the media industry serving established local English daily, before joining The Mole in October 2014 as journalist.