: Senior lawyer Tan Sri Mohamed Shafee Abdullah should request for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take leave as the Finance and Prime Minister to avoid conflict of interest involving the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) investigation, says Petaling Jaya Utara MP, Tony Pua.
This is because Najib is directly involved in the RM42 billion scandal as every single major transaction by 1MDB carries the explicit “written approval” by the Finance and Prime Minister.
“How can Datuk Seri Najib Razak be allowed to direct the manner, timing and mechanism of investigations over such a monstrous scandal where he is also a prime suspect?”
“Shouldn’t the lawyer in Tan Sri Mohamed Shafee who claims to uphold natural justice balk at such a massive conflict of interest?” questioned Pua in a statement to the media today.
Shafee had yesterday requested for Pua to recuse himself from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as he (Pua) had “issued a lot of statements which can affect investigations into the company”.
Mohamed Shafee added Pua’s withdrawal would be beneficial as it would return the public’s confidence that the inquiry into 1MDB would be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
He said that Pua should instead act like a judge and not make accusations and public statements.
"PAC members including Pua should be like judges in this case, and not by making accusations and making public statements.
"It is better they be witnesses if they want to issue such statements,” said Shafee.
In debunking this Pua said that the PAC are not judges and juries to mete out any form of punishment.
“The PAC or its members are not judges and juries. We have no power to mete out any form of punishment.
“We are representatives of the people and the relevant political party tasked to draft a report by consensus on any issue put before the Committee,” stated Pua in his statement.
He added that he had found it funny that attempts were being made to oust him just for issuing statements and carrying out his daily responsibility as an elected representative.
“If however, I am correct in my statements and extensive research on 1MDB, then wouldn’t that make me perfectly qualified to sit in the PAC to grill those involved in the heinous scandal?” said Pua.
PAC is an investment vehicle established in 2009 which commenced its investigation last May, probing the strategic development company, wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia, 1MDB which over time has accumulated RM42 billion worth of debts.
A chain of scandalous allegations on the company has put pressure on Najib and has impelled the oppositions, UMNO leaders both past and present, including anti-graft organisation to demand a scrupulous investigation into the 1MDB account.
The preliminary report is expected for submission to the Parliament this month.