Sunday, July 10, 2016

Is Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Keruak calling the findings of the Auditor-General is frivolous and hence should be disregarded?

It appears that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s cheerleaders are busy lining up to play down the damning Auditor-General’s (AG) Report on 1MDB which has been exposed by the Sarawak Report.

Multimedia and Communications Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Keruak is now telling Malaysians that the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB is not a “final” report and hence insinuates that the findings and conclusions presented should be ignored.

“In fact, the auditor-general’s report is not complete because it addresses just one aspect of 1MDB.  The complete report is the one from the PAC because it not only takes into account the auditor-general’s report but all the other information gathered as well,” Salleh wrote on his blog.

The biggest irony was when he argued that the Sarawak Report has intentionally “misled” the public with the AG’s Report. There is no bigger attempt to mislead the public than the Minister of Multimedia and Communications himself by playing down the findings of the AG’s Report.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its proceedings, relies almost entirely on the findings of the AG Report to present its deliberations, conclusions and recommendations. In fact, the PAC members understood that the AG’s Report was to be presented together with the the PAC Report to provide a complete picture with detailed facts and figures to the Parliament. 

Hence the PAC Report itself made extensive references to the findings AG’s Report without citing the details for the simple reason that the PAC was expecting the AG’s Report to be published together with the PAC Report.

Therefore, the AG’s Report wasn’t merely “one aspect of 1MDB” as Salleh claimed, but an integral part of the PAC Report on 1MDB, without which the PAC Report would be incomplete.

The PAC Chairman himself has explained to the media on March 7, a month before the publication of the PAC Report that “the federal audit report on 1MDB will no longer be classified a state secret under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) once the PAC tables its findings on it in Parliament.”

The Members of the PAC, as well as Malaysians at large were hence shocked when Datuk Hasan Arifin autocratically rescinded what he promised and decided against publishing the AG’s Report, without any discussions with the Committee.

Datuk Seri Salleh Keruak must also accept the fact that there was nothing in the PAC Report which contradicted or negated the findings of the AG’s Report.  In fact, PAC members from the government backbench and opposition concurred fully with the AG’s Report and never at any point of time, as recorded in the PAC Hansard, disagreed or rejected the findings.

Hence all the findings in the AG’s Report must be deemed factual and dealt with accordingly by the authorities.  The question of the AG’s Report being “incomplete” does not arise at all.

Datuk Seri Salleh Keruak should stop becoming Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s Minister of Miscommunication by trivialising the AG’s Report and insulting the professionalism of Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang. Instead he should be scandalised by the findings of the Report and demand for heads to roll for all who were involved in the elaborate 1MDB scammed which cheated billions of dollars from Malaysian taxpayers, to protect the “good name” and credibility of the Government.

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