Saturday, March 5, 2016

1MDB Report is OSA-classified

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday disclosed the government’s decision to classify the final federal audit report on 1MDB under the Official Secrets Act was done to prevent information from being leaked.
 
PAC chairperson Hasan Arifin (left) explained that the previous preliminary report was leaked to the media after it was tabled before the panel last year. He said Friday’s receipt of the said report on 1MDB will allow PAC to conclude its investigation on the state investment fund, almost a year since the panel first deliberated the matter.
 
He stressed on the need to “have faith” on the parliamentary panel as an independent body accountable to the public as it consists of both government and opposition lawmakers.
 
And he added that once PAC has presented its report to the Dewan Rakyat, the Federal Audit Department will have the discretionary power to decide if its audit report should be declassified.
 
I don’t understand the need for us to be secretive. What is it about the 1MDB report that they do not want us to know? The government had repeatedly told us to be patient and now that the report is finally out – Malaysians are not permitted to scrutinize it. If we cannot digest its contents, then our own skepticism, suspicion and speculation remain. Already, Najib Razak is suffering from a trust deficit amongst Malaysians.
 
In my view, a report that is credible does not warrant protection under the OSA. It must be capable of standing on its own. It is the scrupulous outcome of meticulous work that has all the details to address the important issues. It gives answers to questions.

Charles Dickens ("Great Expectations") said: "We need never be ashamed of our tears". But I like this quote better:

 

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