Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman’s denial of a massive parliamentary cover up over 1MDB questions by the Speaker has no credibility whatsoever.

Opposition Members of Parliament were in a state of shock yesterday upon taking our seats at the start of the second sitting this year.  More than 30 questions, all of which concerns the single largest financial scandal ever to hit Malaysia, 1MDB were rejected by the House Speaker.

While some of our athletes are making inroads overseas and breaking new records, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin is determined not to be left out of the party.  The Guiness Book of Records of Malaysia must take note of the sheer incredible scale of rejection of parliamentary questions in a single sitting. 

I myself had 5 questions rejected – possibly an individual parliamentary record in itself.

The opposition uproar was met with an ‘official’ denial by the Minister in-charge of parliamentary affairs, Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman who described the “cover-up” allegations as “utterly baseless”.  The fact that a member of the executive, who is an interested party in the scandal, had to step forward to defend the Speaker who is supposed to be impartial in the running of the august House speaks volumes.

Dato’ Seri Azalina even had the cheek to reprimand the Opposition MPs and asked them to “give precedence to issues that concern people under their respective constituencies”.

The blinkered Minister obviously doesn’t realise that my constituents voted for me overwhelmingly not because I spend my time debating about drains and potholes in my constituency – although those problems are dealt with by my office with the local council.  They gave me a very specific mandate to not only check a corrupt and kleptocratic government, but also to expose all the wrong-doings of those who are in power.

In fact, as an MP who achieved the second highest majority in the country with 45,000 votes in the last general election, my constituents believe that their livelihood would be much better – less debt, better exchange rates and lower cost of living, if I succeed in throwing out the corrupt BN administration in the next round.

The Minister had argued that our questions were “against the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders”.

As an example, let me ask the Minister, how the following rejected question was “against the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders”.

I had asked the Minister of Finance to

“menyatakan baki nilai terkini pelaburan ‘unit’ yang dimiliki oleh anak syarikat 1MDB, Brazen Sky Limited dan nama institusi bank atau kewangan yang kini menjadi ‘custodian’ kepada pelaburan tersebut”.

The Speaker had rejected the above question on the pretext of presumably questionable assumption (“sangkaan”) and a figment of my imagination (“buah fikiran”).

The Finance Ministers as well as 1MDB itself have openly stated that the company had investments in the form of “units” held with a “custodian bank” previously valued at US$2.3 billion, of which a substantial portion has apparently been redeemed.

Hence where is the “sangkaan” or “buah fikiran” in the above question when I was only asking what is the current asset value as well as which custodian bank was holding the “units”?

Instead, ironically, it is the refusal of the Speaker to approve and the Minister to answer the question that leads to a reasonable “sangkaan” that the “units” are fraudulent or are of minimal value, and perhaps there is no longer any “custodian bank”!

Tan Sri Pandikar Amin has unquestionably and possibly irreversibly condemned the Parliament into a kangaroo sitting.  Instead of leaving a legacy of reform which will lead us to the heights of a first world parliament, he has now disgraced the highest legislative institution of the land.

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