Anyone surprised by Hasan Arifin's announcement that PAC report on 1MDB will not be ready in time for the March meeting of Parliament?

Anyone surprised by the announcement yesterday by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Datuk Hasan Arifin that the PAC report into its investigations into the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal will not be ready for tabling in the Dewan Rakyat in the March/April meeting?

I believe the majority of Malaysians share my feeling of not in any way being surprised at all.

In fact, I will expect the PAC under the "cari makan" chairman will even miss the following Parliamentary meeting from May 16 to 26, which will mean that the PAC report on the 1MDB will be kicked to the end of the year, when Parliament meets for 25 days from 17th Oct to 24th Nov, 2016.

Again, nobody will be very surprised if the net result demanding full accountability for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Raza's twin mega scandals by the end of this year will conclude not very much differently from that of last year - where the Prime Minister disappeared from Parliamentary chamber on the last day of the 25-day budget meeting although Ministers have proclaimed to the world that all the answers about the Najib's RM2.6 billion "donation" scandal would be answered on Dec. 3, 2015, the last day of the Parliamentary meeting, but there was absolutely no answer to the teeming questions about the scandal!

There is no sense of urgency in the PAC investigations into the 1MDB scandal since the appointment of Hasan as PAC Chairman, after the derailment of the PAC investigations for more than three months after the "purge" in the government of personalities in favour of full and satisfactory accountability of the 1MDB scandal, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muyhyiddin Yassin, Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, officers in the AG's Chambers, Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Malaysian Police.

The high-powered multi-agency Special Task Force on the 1MDB, headed by four Tan Sri's, was dissolved and even the PAC investigations was sabotaged and stopped for more than three months!

Malaysians expect the PAC to "burn midnight oil", and to conduct investigations into 1MDB with a great sense of urgency, putting aside all other agendas until they could complete investigations into the 1MDB scandal - which had already given Malaysia the international infamy of third ranking for the world's "worst corruption scandals in 2015".

Why is the PAC under the Chairmanship of Arifin taking its own sweet time, as if completely indifferent and unaware of the national and international interests about the early and swift outcome of PAC investigations into 1MDB?

The Auditor-General submitted the interim report on its audit of 1MDB to the PAC in July, and its final report has now be deferred to February, because of the refusal of 1MDB to co-operate in submitting documents requested by the Auditor-General.

Is there going to be an indefinite serial delay and postponement in the submission of the Auditor-General's report and the PAC report on 1MDB to Parliament?

The PAC should meet in emergency meeting to speed up its work so that it could submit its report to Parliament in March, and if this cannot be done, PAC should not continue to sit on the interim report on the 1MDB by the Auditor-General, but table it in Parliament in March together with an interim PAC report on 1MDB.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah