Report claims possible boycott of PAC chief


KUALA LUMPUR: It was revealed today that several members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have skipped months of meetings as a sign of protest against its chief Hasan Arifin.

This was confirmed by DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker Tony Pua, who said he was not alone as others including Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Baharin Abbas Shah and Selayang MP William Leong, joined him in the boycott.

Pua also appeared uninterested to attend the next few meetings, telling Malaysiakini: “I might be out of the country.”

Quoting several highly-placed sources, the portal stated that a Barisan Nasional (BN) MP was also among those who missed several meetings, which is believed to be the result of Hasan’s sole decision to remove a key sentence in the PAC’s report on state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

This is especially so as it was done without the knowledge of other PAC members.

The sentence deleted by Hasan was in regard to Bank Negara Malaysia’s letter stating that Good Star Limited was a company owned by a person not linked to the PetroSaudi Group.

According to the PAC report, the company had received USD700 million (RM2.7 billion) in its RBS Coutts Bank Ltd account, part of the USD1 billion that 1MDB invested in a joint venture with Saudi Arabian oil company PetroSaudi International Ltd.

The United States Department of Justice’s civil suit seeking forfeiture over assets that allegedly belonged to 1MDB, had named Penang-born business tycoon Low Taek Jho as the owner of the company.

Malaysiakini did attempt to contact the BN MP, but did not state if it had received a response.

It also claimed that PAC’s deputy chairperson Dr Tan Seng Giaw and Kota Bharu MP Takiyuddin Hassan were not part of the boycott.

A meeting has been scheduled for the bipartisan committee tomorrow, to discuss matters concerning government-owned Agrobank.