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PAC chief’s head must roll over Bank Negara’s letter

COMMENT The Public Accounts Committee members were baffled as to why Hasan Arifin had unilaterally deleted sentences from the finalised PAC Report on 1MDB which quoted Bank Negara which disclosed that the “ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited is an individual not related to Petrosaudi International Limited”.

We were further stumped by Hasan’s failure to divulge to PAC members another letter from Bank Negara dated April 6, a day before the final PAC report was tabled in Parliament. When we discovered the existence of the letter via a ministerial reply in Parliament on May 17, we had confronted the PAC chairperson at our meeting the very next day.

All PAC opposition members were left speechless when Hasan refused to share the contents of the Bank Negara letter with us. We could not understand Hasan’s claims of confidentiality when PAC members were even authorised to review the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB which was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). What could possibly be more confidential than OSA documents?

Hasan’s highly suspicious behaviour led us to believe that the Bank Negara letter responding to queries from the PAC must have contained some damning information on 1MDB. I had speculated two days ago that Bank Negara must have outed Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, as the sole beneficiary of Good Star Limited and demanded that the PAC chairperson confirm or deny my allegation. Hasan refused to respond to the press despite repeated queries.

Malaysians are ashamed because we have to depend on the foreign media, The Wall Street Journal in this case, to expose the truth contained in the said letter. The letter dated April 6 from Bank Negara to the PAC clearly stated that Good Star Limited is “beneficially owned by Low Taek Jho” and that there was never any change of ownership in the company.

This crucial piece of information opens up a whole Pandora’s Box and confirmed what critics like Sarawak Report, The Edge publications and opposition members of parliament have accused 1MDB all along - that out of the US$1.83 billion investment 1MDB carried out with Petrosaudi International Limited, at least US$1.03 billion have been directly misappropriated to Good Star Limited, owned by Jho Low.

Hasan has lied to PAC members

This incontrovertible evidence tears to shreds the pretence by Najib Razak and 1MDB’s top officials that Good Star Limited belongs to the Petrosaudi group, a claim which was not backed by any legally-admissible documentary evidence.

This vital evidence, if taken into consideration by the auditor-general and the PAC, would have made the already damning PAC report even more devastating. Fraud, while previously suspected, would have been confirmed.

In fact, had Hasan shared the Bank Negara letter with the PAC members, a whole new front of investigations would have been opened, including summoning Jho Low to testify before the PAC. Instead, he lied to the PAC members claiming that the Bank Negara letter was intended for his eyes only. This was despite the letter clearly making reference to the information being provided to the PAC for deliberations.

Hence it cannot be clearer that Hasan has been nominated by Najib and BN to hamper and cover up the investigations into 1MDB. The PAC chairperson has denigrated his parliamentary position to become a tool to help the crooks who stole billions of dollars of Malaysian taxpayers’ money.

He has lied to and acted against the decisions of the PAC. He has suppressed crucial evidence to cover up shenanigans multi-billion-ringgit fraud by the powers-that-be. He obstructed the parliamentary investigation into the single largest scandal in the history of Malaysia.

Hasan’s position as the PAC chairperson is no longer tenable because Malaysians can no longer trust him to carry out his role honestly, professionally and with integrity. We now call upon Hasan to resign as the chairperson of the PAC because he has brought disrepute to the committee and disgraced the Parliament.

TONY PUA is Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentarian and a member of PAC.

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