Politics

Impartiality of PAC members questioned

KUALA LUMPUR — May 29, 2015: A reader of news portal ‘Rakyat Post‘ has expressed doubt over the capacity of members of the Public Accounts Committeee (PAC)  to be impartial in investigating the embattled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The reader, signing as T.S. Kong in his letter to the news portal,  doubted the credibility of members of the PAC due to their pre-emptive judgement of the controversial government-owned strategic development corporation.

“Many PAC members have either made allegations or statements about 1MDB. They have prejudged the matter.

“With PAC going ahead to question 1MDB, it would be against the interest of justice and impartiality for PAC members like Tony Pua, Kamarurdin Jaafar and Dr Tan Seng Giaw to sit on the panel.

“As accusers, won’t they become judge, jury and executioners by virtue of thei roleas PAC members? If so, PAC can no longer be seen as impartial panel. After all, Tonty has already found 1MDB guilty.

 “Shouldn’t all PAC members who have prejudged 1MDB to be excused from the PAC panel?

“Is this not the right thing to do in the same way the Opposition has asked for some judges to be excused for the sake of a hearing being impartial.

“Instead, they should be called by PAC as witnesses to p[roduce evidence supporting his allegations. When faced with allegations, wasn’t it Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who asked…”where is the evidence?”, he asked.

Kong said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was rightly relying on the rule of law and the principle that one is innocent untill proven guilty. Burden of proof lies with the accuser.

“So shouldn’t Rafizi who is Member of Parliament and every other MPs who repeated the allegations, such as Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang, be called to show proof. Or as lawmakers, it is a privilege to break the law,” he wrote.

Kong said that PAC members who have been making accusations before they even started investigating 1MDB cannot be seen as impartial.

“PAC have lost semblance of impartiality to begin a hearing which Nur Jazlan has said could lead to criminal charges.

“Common sense dictates that PAC cannot hear the matter and should leave it to the relevant authorities to investigate, and base on strength on the evidence, take it to court. Only then can there be a fair hearing.

“As it is, it is already an endless trial by media. With all the hostility and political tones as well as under tones, a PAC hearing may beome a kangaroo court in action,” Kong wrote.

Meanwhile, prominent anonymous blogger Jebat Must Die in his latest posting, ‘1MDB: What is the scope of work of the Auditor General Report‘, asked for the Auditor General’s  scope of work and terms of reference in the 1MDB investigations be disclosed.

“As for the audit on 1MDB which was announced so many times by the Prime Minister, what are the scope of its work and the task it is being asked to do?

“Does any minister sitting in the cabinet know about it? Because, this is very important,”

“Malaysians want to know if the so called AG report will be comprehensive enough and wide enough to answer all the questions raised by the people for the past two years,” wrote Jebat.

The blogger argued that the AG may find it conflicting to investigate 1MDB as their terms of reference is determined by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

This is so, he wrote, because Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is also the finance minister holds the post of  1MDB advisor.

“The Cabinet has meetings frequently. Can any minister tell us if the Auditor-General’s scope of work is comprehensive enough? What are they? Should a forensic audit be needed? And if it does, will that take till the year 2017 to complete?” the blogger asked.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]