Friday, March 4, 2016

PAS to meet Malay rulers in push for royal inquiry into 1MDB, says sec-gen

PAS, which does not support former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's movement to remove Datuk Seri Najib Razak from office, intends to meet the nine Malay sultans to convince the Conference of Rulers to call for a royal inquiry into financial scandals related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), says its secretary-general, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan. He told The Malaysian Insider the party leadership has sought an audience with the respective heads of states as soon as possible. "We will explain to the rulers in detail the contents of our proposals," he said of the Islamist party's way of holding the Najib administration accountable to the people. He said the representation was ready but would only be revealed after the meetings. Takiyuddin, the Kota Baru MP, said the party decided to get things moving through the Conference of Rulers after Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah's recent speech that corruption must be handled by the relevant agencies without fear or favour. Sultan Nazrin said truth, based on the law, must be upheld as it was a responsibility not only to the almighty, but also to the country. "Corruption… is like a nest of termites that grows and causes the pillars of a country to rot," the sultan said in his speech at the Utusan Business Awards 2015 earlier this week. Takiyuddin said the PAS leadership would meet the rulers separately to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry because they could not have a direct audience with the Conference of Rulers. He said the party also wanted the Conference of Rulers to revisit the 1MDB issue as the Malay rulers had wanted the government to complete the investigation as soon as possible and take "appropriate stern action" against all found to be implicated. In a statement last October, the Malay rulers said all concerned should extend "real and sincere" cooperation so that the investigation achieved its objectives. "The findings of the investigation must be reported comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people will be convinced of the sincerity of the government which shall not at all conceal facts and the truth," they said in the statement. The Malay rulers were worried that if the issue was not handled wisely and was allowed to drag on, it could jeopardise the economy and the livelihood of the people. On the eve of Dr Mahathir's citizen-led movement to pressure Najib to step down, Takiyuddin said PAS was more comfortable playing the role of a "third political bloc" in changing the country's leadership through democratic and constitutional means. "PAS chooses to follow the suggestion of the Conference of Rulers that a RCI is formed to probe into the scandals involving 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion 'political donation' and other current issues." Alternatively, he said PAS wanted Najib to dissolve the Dewan Rakyat for fresh elections to be held. Over the past year, Dr Mahathir has been critical with Najib's leadership, especially after The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported last July that US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) was deposited into the prime minister's bank accounts. It is widely believed that the source of the funds was from state investment firm 1MDB, whose board of advisors is chaired by Najib. Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali on January 26 said there was "insufficient evidence" to charge Najib with criminal wrongdoing over the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International. – March 5, 2016.]]>

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