Last night in a sudden move to appease the growing disgust from the public, 1MDB had issued a brief statement that its CEO, Mr. Arul Kanda Kandasamy has denied that he is snubbing the PAC probe which is scheduled for him today.
In the statement which was reported in The Malaysian Insider, Arul Kanda is “looking forward to appear before the committee and having the opportunity to clarify 1MDB’s position.”
However he added that the date to actually appear in front of PAC is “currently being finalised due to a date proposed earlier being in conflict with previously scheduled overseas commitments.”
This is in contrast to a statement made by a member of the PAC, MP Tony Pua in his tweets yesterday which stated, “These jokers claimed to be overseas this [sic] 2 days despite having been given the notice to attend some 3 weeks ago..”
1MDB itself had given assurances on May 12th that it has nothing to hide and its Chairman, Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin asserted that he will attend if he is invited and that “the rest of the management have to attend as well.”
Many argued that Arul Kanda’s most recent press statement which said he could not appear for the stipulated PAC session due to some pre-scheduled commitments is an amateurish excuse even for his stature. Worse, it is a slap in PAC’s face and disrespecting Parliament.
Nur Jazlan had issued early warnings that PAC will start its investigation on April 14th, some 6 weeks before today’s date.
Amazingly, 1MDB’s former CEO, Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi even requested a further 1 month extension to prepare for the investigation. That will overall be 10 weeks of preparation to face a PAC probe. Surely something is amiss.
And as recent as 22nd May, Nur Jazlan had urged the public not to doubt PAC’s investigation. Being the Chairman of PAC, he had said, “PAC holds the right to call witnesses. Why is it that PAC members are now being doubted, questioned? How will we then carry out a transparent and meaningful investigation?”
But all he could said with regards to the snub was that “the PAC secretariat received a letter from the Finance Ministry requesting for a postponement, and after discussing this just now, the members have agreed to it.”
The Finance Minister even acted like a messenger boy for both CEOs of 1MDB.
Certainly the conduct of those two had belittled and put a dent in public’s confidence towards the firmness and potency of PAC. How indeed can PAC carry out a transparent and meaningful investigation when the subject of their investigation can come and go as they please?
The gross incompetence that had been shown throughout 1MDB’s board, management and operations must not infect the PAC.
The Prime Minister, who is also the Advisor of 1MDB should have given a stern advice and ample warning for the CEOs to attend all the scheduled sessions.
Ultimately, the public wants to see how PAC could reign in the arrogance portrayed by 1MDB’s top management in snubbing the Parliament. As it is, the public are beginning to realise that when certain quarters had expressed doubts this investigation will not be dragged on for months or maybe years, they could be saying the truth.