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Can PAC Be Impartial?

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PAC have lost semblance of impartiality to begin a hearing 1MDB since its members have either made allegations or statements about 1MDB and thus they have prejudged the matter.

MANY Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members have either made allegations or statements about 1MDB. They have prejudged the matter.

With PAC going ahead to question 1MDB, it would be against the interest of justice and impartiality for PAC members like Tony Pua, Kamarrudin Jaafar and Dr Tan Seng Giaw to sit on the panel.

As accusers, won’t they become judge, jury and executioners by virture of their role as PAC members? If so, PAC can no longer be seen as impartial panel. After all, Tony has already found 1MDB guilty.

Shouldn’t Tony and all PAC members who have prejudged 1MDB be excused from the PAC panel? Is this not the right thing to do in the same way the Opposition has asked for some judges to be excused for the sake of a hearing being impartial.

Instead, they should be called by PAC as witnesses to produce evidence supporting his allegations. When faced with allegations, wasn’t it Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who asked…”where is the evidence?”

Tun M is rightly relying on the rule of law and the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty. Burden of proof lies with the accuser.

So, shouldn’t Rafizi who is Member of Parliament and every other MPs who repeated the allegations, such as Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang, be called to show proof. Or as lawmakers, it is a privilege to break the law.

The simple fact is PAC members, having made allegations and statements about 1MDB, cannot be seen as impartial. They have prejudged the issue. PAC have lost semblance of impartiality to begin a hearing which Nur Jazlan has said could lead to criminal charges.

Common sense dictates that PAC cannot hear the matter and should leave it to the relevant authorities to investigate, and base on strength on of the evidence, take it to court. Only then can there be a fair hearing.

As it is, it is already an endless trial by media. With all the hostility and political tones as well as under tones, a PAC hearing may become a kangaroo court in action.-Written by T.S. Kong

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