Monday, April 11, 2016

Damning PAC Report on 1MDB arrived at via consensus and represents unanimous decision by all members based on AG's findings

In an original news report by Bernama yesterday, the PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin was reported to have called me “annoying” and labelled me a “political opportunist”. However, the news story has since been edited upon the instruction from Datuk Hasan Arifin because he claimed he had never used such terms before to describe anyone.

In this particular instance, I verily believe him as he made the extra effort to inform all PAC Members of  this misreporting by Bernama. The  article  has  since  been  corrected  late yesterday evening.

However,  the  above  incident  has  only  made  it  clear  that  there  are  powerful  forces  behind the scenes  attempting  to  take  control  of  the  narrative  via  official  news  government  and UMNO-controlled  news  sources like  Bernama, the  News  Straits  Times  (NST)  and  Utusan Malaysia. It appears  that  someone  has  put  words  into  the mouth  of  the PAC Chairman specifically to conduct a character assassination exercise.

In fact, the newspaper headlines of the NST and Utusan Malaysia makes for surreal reading for  those who  have  actually  read  the  PAC  Report. Instead  of  reporting  that  the  critics  of 1MDB were vindicated  by  the  PAC  Report, the  NST  screamed  on  its  front  page  that  the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak was “vindicated”. Utusan Malaysia followed up with the call for all critics to apologise to the Prime Minister.

Then you have 1MDB  claiming  that  I’m now “backtracking”  from  the  findings  of  the  PAC Report which was arrived at with the full consensus of all members of the committee.  Are these people living in an alternate reality or are they mere doing their utmost to paint what is incontrovertibly “black” as “white”?

Let  me  put  it  on  record  that  the  PAC  Report  was  arrived  on consensus  and  I  have  stated that on  day  one. However,  it  appears  that  the 1MDB, NST, Utusan  Malaysia,  the Prime Minister and his band of BN leaders have a different copy of the PAC Report from the one which was tabled in Parliament.

The consensus version of the PAC Report which was published in Parliament last Thursday

  • Confirmed  that  the  Auditor-General  (AG)  could  not  verify at  least  US$7  billion  of 1MDB’s cash and assets overseas comprising of: 
  1. US$1.03  billion  meant  for  1MDB  Petrosaudi  Limited  but  was  instead transferred to Good Star Limited
  2. US$3.51  billion  transferred  to  Aabar  Investment  PJS  Limited  for “refundable deposit”, “option termination” and “top-up security”.
  3. US$940 million in purported “units” held in BSI Bank, Singapore
  4. US$1.56  billion  of  1MDB  Global  Investment  Limited  investments  in  various funds overseas
  • Confirmed  that  the  Auditor-General  could  not  verify  the ownership  of  Good Star Limited and Aabar Investment PJS Limited 
  • Confirmed  that  1MDB  has  obstructed  investigations  by  refusing  to  cooperate  by handing over its  overseas  bank  statements  and  that  of its  overseas subsidiaries, as well as other relevant documents, despite multiple deadlines by the AG and the PAC. 
  • Confirmed  that  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s written  approval  was  necessary  for  all  key appointments  in  and  major  transactions  by 1MDB,  including the  US$1.83  billion Petrosaudi  investments  and  its  disposal,  the  US$6.5  billion  bond  issuances,  the RM12.1 billion  power  plant  acquisitions  as  well  as  the  sacking  of  1MDB’s  external auditors, KPMG and Ernst & Young. 
Hence the based on the suspicious circumstances above, the PAC has by consensus, agreed to recommend that former CEO of 1MDB, Datuk Shahrol Halmi and other related parties be investigated by the authorities.

Dato’ Seri Najib’s involvement was also the reason why the PAC has agreed by consensus, that Article 117 of 1MDB’s M&A which grants the Prime Minister such powers, be abolished, together with the Board of Adviors, which he chairs.

Anyone who had read the 106-page PAC Report as well as the accompanying transcripts of PAC proceedings would not be able to find any other deliberation on the role and culpability of  the Prime Minister. Without  the  necessary  bank  statements  and  authentication documents  from  1MDB,  the PAC  could  not  possibly “clear”  the  Prime  Minister,  even  if  we had wanted to.

Therefore,  at  no  point  in  time  have  I “backtracked”  from  the PAC  Report  as 1MDB desperately accused. I have stated that I’m 80% satisfied with the report because the PAC could  have done  more  to  uncover  the  discrepancies  cited  in  the  Report  which  remains a mystery, including the summoning of additional key witnesses.

However,  despite  the  lack  of  completeness  in  the  report,  based  on  information  made available, the PAC Report was already able to arrive at the sufficiently damning findings and conclusions. That is the bipartisan consensus in the PAC.
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