Not for the first time, Gerakan Secretary-General, Liang Teck Meng leaped to castigate me for speaking out on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Liang, who is also the Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam, who is never heard to raise issues which matter to the man-on-the-street, has recently been impressively first-off-the-mark in criticising me whenever I comment on 1MDB.
He not only accused me of being biased, but claimed that I was deliberately trying to get suspended from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by speaking up on the issue.
Let me state up front that I have no intention of getting thrown out of the PAC. It is my sworn duty to Malaysians as their elected representative to get to the bottom of scandals by questioning the officers involved in them.
The Parliamentary Standing Orders do state that information provided by the relevant parties privy to the PAC are not allowed to be disclosed before they are tabled to the Parliament.
However, it does not at any point state that a member of the PAC must gag himself on the issue with regards to information which is already in the public domain! I’ve spoken in the past on the National Feedlot Corporation, KLIA2 and even the 1MDB scandals even as the PAC investigated them without any issues.
That was because I have never breached the Standing Orders by disclosing information privy only to the PAC. Even the former PAC Chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan, put it on record that I’ve been very disciplined when issuing statements.
My latest statement, criticising Datuk Seri Najib Razak for claiming that the 1MDB scandal is settled when it is far from being resolved, is no different. I had argued that the recently announced sale of Bandar Malaysia land to a China-led consortium is an indirect bailout by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government sold the former Sungai Besi airbase to 1MDB for only RM1.6 billion in 2012. 1MDB then sold 60% of the Bandar Malaysia venture to the China-led consortium for RM7.4 billion, raking in huge profits to pay down some of the former’s enormous debt.
Therefore, 1MDB remains alive today because the tax-payers and government related funds bailed out the excesses of the company. In fact, the above proved that 1MDB had borrowed billions of ringgit, lost the money, and had to rely almost entirely on prime government assets to pay down the debts.
All of the above are public information. So, I would like to ask Liang, what is so wrong for me to resolve to ‘expose the crooks behind the multi-billion ringgit scam behind 1MDB which has resulted in tens of billions of ringgit of taxpayers losses’?
Unless of course, the normally reticent Liang is only interested in doing the opposite, which is to cover up the entire scandal.
Or perhaps Liang, who was overlooked in the recent promotion of 4 BN PAC members to the Cabinet, wants to demonstrate that he is working hard to polish his boss’s apples?