Five things I will do on RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals if I am Chairman of Public Accounts Committee

These are the five things I will do on the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals if I am Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee:

Firstly, I would have summoned the former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail as a star witness of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigations, in particular to testify whether there was a draft corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister, Datuk Sri Najib Razak related to 1MDB and whether this was the real reason why Gani had been summarily sacked as Attorney-General although he was three months short of compulsory retirement?

Gani’s presence and testimony is all the more urgent as a result of two recent developments: the statement by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Oct. 22 that it had never denied the authenticity of a draft charge sheet against the Prime Minister and Gani’s first public appearance at the Bar Council forum on Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) on 3rd November rubbishing the government claim that Gani was removed for “health” reasons as Gani had showed up at the public forum not in a wheelchair or as an invalid but looking very “hale, hearty and healthy”!

Secondly, I would have summoned the present Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali as another star witness before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings to find out what change of policies he had initiated on the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals on replacing Gani as Attorney-General, and in particular why he rejected Bank Negara Malaysia’s recommendations for prosecution against 1MDB for violation of financial laws.

Would Gani have agreed to the Bank Negara recommendation for prosecution of 1MDB if he is still Attorney-General in contrast to Apandi Ali?

Furthermore, Apandi Ali should also explain why whistleblower and former Batu Kawan division deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang have been charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 which allowed detention without trial - in total contradiction to Ministerial assurances given to Parliament that Sosma would not be abused as it related to special measures on security offences for the purpose of maintaining public order and security, which could have no connection with either Khairuddin or Matthias.

Thirdly, as Chairman of PAC, I would have ensured that PAC gets to the bottom of WHO were the donor/donors of the RM2.6 billion “donation” deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts a month before Parliament was dissolved for the holding of the 13th General Elections in May 2013.

Former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir had ridiculed the story that an Arab potentate had anonymously donated RM2.6 billion to Najib for the 13th General Election campaign, expressing doubt that there is such a generous Arab who is prepared to part with billions of ringgit when he could not get a single sen from the Arab countries when he had solicited aid from them for the International Islamic University when he was Prime Minister.

Mahathir further pointed out that the Arab leaders did not even bother to reply when he had written to them asking for help to finance an Islamic centre in Oxford University that Malaysia had funded.

If the DAP had received a single sen from any foreign source for our party activities in the past 50 years, party leaders would have been charged and jailed and the party accused of being guilty of anti-national and even treasonous activities.

With RM2.6 billion from a foreign source as admitted by Najib himself, would this make the Prime Minister guilty of anti-national and even a treasonous act?

There is one more question to be established by the PAC. Was RM2.6 billion the total amount deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts or was it more than RM2.6 billion?

Fourthly, as Chairman of PAC, I would be equally committed to get to the bottom of the other question resonating throughout the country, where have the RM2.6 billion gone to?

The RM2.6 billion was allegedly donated to Najib for the 13th General Election election campaign.

Malaysia’s election laws stipulate that the maximum expenditure legally permissible for a parliamentary candidate is RM200,000 while the maximum legal expenditure for a State Assembly candidate is RM100,000.

With 222 Parliamentary seats and 505 State Assembly seats to be contested in the 13th General elections, this meant that the maximum election expenditures permitted by Malaysian election laws come to RM44.4 million by all UMNO/BN’s 222 Parliamentary candidates and RM50.5 million by the 505 BN State Assembly candidates, or a total of RM94.9 million - short of RM100 million!

But Najib has received RM2.6 billion “donation” which is 26 time more than the legally permissible election expenditures for all the 222 Parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates from Barisan Nasional.

Two questions immediately arise: Firstly, are the anonymous donor/donors so ignorant of Malaysian election laws that they are prepared to donate 26 times what is legally permissible to be spent by the 222 Parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates of BN in the 13th General Elections? Where have the rest of the RM2.5 billion ringgit, which is over 96% of the donation, gone to?

Secondly, how can Najib accept RM2.6 billion donation for the 13th General Election, when the maximum expenditures legally permissible for all the BN Parliamentary and State Assembly are less than RM100 million?

Former MCA President, Datuk Chua Soi Lek recently threw some light on the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal, when he recollected how Najib had in a Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting before the 13th general election made an unprecedented pledge to fund BN component parties.

Chua said Najib delivered what he promised and disbursed funds to the BN component parties for the 13th General Election campaign.

All the heads of Barisan Nasional parties should appear before the PAC to state how much they received from Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” for the 13th General Elections campaign and what amounts were given to the BN candidates, whether parliamentary or state assembly.

Fifthly if I am head of PAC, I would ensure that the PAC would table a report on its investigations into the RM2.6 billion and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals latest by November 30, so that MPs from both sides of the House could debate the PAC report latest by the last day of the current meeting of Parliament on Dec. 3.

Will the new PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin do all five, or any one of these five, measures?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah