KUALA LUMPUR: DAP lawmaker Tony Pua walked out of a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting on Monday in protest over the refusal by committee chairman Hasan Arifin to reopen investigations into 1MDB.
“I am deeply ashamed to be part of the PAC that has become so weak, intent on covering up. I cannot sit in the meeting pretending to do my work when the biggest scandal in Malaysia is not being discussed.
“Let us call the prime minister. If he is innocent, let PAC protect the good name of the prime minister,” he said outside the Parliament building.
He said it was pertinent to reopen the probe into 1MDB following the lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) seeking to recover over USD3.5 billion, allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB.
Pua, who is Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said he raised three issues during Monday’s meeting.
The first was seeking an explanation into a Wall Street Journal report that Good Star Limited belonged to Malaysian businessman Jho Low.
“I asked him (Hasan) if the report is genuine. I asked him about a letter from Bank Negara addressed to all PAC members stating Good Star Limited belongs to Jho Low,” he said, adding that should Hasan fail to reply to his queries, it would mean that he was covering up for people behind 1MDB.
The second issue he brought up was reopening the 1MDB probe to identify “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1) who was mentioned in the DoJ report.
Pua pointed out that the report had clearly stated that USD681 million had gone into the personal account of MO1 and, therefore, the case should be looked into.
“We need to call (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak). To know if whatever has been said, is true or false,” he said, adding that the PAC should protect Najib if he could prove his innocence.
Pua’s third request was to investigate reports that 1MDB’s former subsidiary SRC International had allegedly taken RM4 billion from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).
According to Pua, during the entire meeting, Hasan kept rejecting his requests, saying “we (PAC) have done our part, we have closed the case”.
“How can that be, especially with the new (DoJ) revelations?” Pua asked.
In its lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles, the DoJ said it also sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB.”