Depending on which side we are on, the PAC report on 1MDB has paradoxically implicated while at the same time exonerated those culpable.By TK Cua
There are numerous issues and problems facing the country today, some very real and imminent. However are we getting any closer to finding the truth or solving any of the issues?
Has it ever occurred to us that politicians and the “powers that be” are pulling wool over our eyes? They divert attention, cause confusion and make us focus on insignificant and irrelevant things.
Take 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the many allegations levelled against it, for instance. We directed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Auditor-General to help us find the truth. But what did we get? A PAC report that is neither here nor there and a final A-G Report that has been declared an official secret, at least for now. The PAC report, tabled at the last day of the current Parliamentary sitting, can now only be debated at the coming Dewan Rakyat meeting from May 16, 2016 onwards. I guess a day’s delay is a day’s victory for someone and a day more precarious for Malaysia.
Depending on which side we are on, the PAC report has paradoxically implicated and at the same time exonerated those culpable. In the next few weeks there will be more meaningless innuendoes bandied around to cause even more confusion among us. No truth will ever be uncovered. Only more half-baked polemics that will emerge.
Before this, numerous investigations were launched against 1MDB and its related parties. The argument at the time was to keep the investigations confidential to avoid jeopardising the reputation and positions of those being probed. Hence, we hardly knew who and what were being investigated and the status of each of these investigations. We just patiently waited for the outcome.
When investigations were completed, we were told there was no case to answer by those who were investigated. With that, we lost focus again. We argued endlessly in whose hands the power of prosecution lay, not whether or not the power of prosecution has been constitutionally and justly exercised.
We asked the A-G to audit 1MDB. We waited with bated breath for the interim and final reports. Now the “powers that be” tell us these reports are official secrets. I am quite sure the next focus of our national debate will be on official secrets, its scope and meaning, the punishment against violators, and the national interests the Official Secrets Act is supposed to protect. We will largely forget about the right to know, the fair and decent laws we yearned for, the protection of public interests, the rights and sacrifice of whistle-blowers and most important of all, the truth about 1MDB.
When Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli was arrested, we argued over whether or not he was handcuffed during and after the arrest and whether or not he was arrested within the vicinity of Parliament. May be there are some symbolic meanings to these arguments, but quite frankly what significant difference would the handcuffs or where he was arrested make? We have largely forgotten why Rafizi did what he did. Why was he prepared to be arrested?
Are we a nation of lambs to the slaughter?