DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has given the thumbs up for the plans to hold a debate between former pemier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno lawmaker Nazri Abdul Aziz on 1MDB as well as other issues.
“I welcome the Mahathir-Nazri debate on the 1MDB scandal. I will personally attend the debate, to be held in Padang Rengas on March 25.
“This debate will break the enforced firewall to prevent a healthy and democratic debate and people’s demand for accountability for the mother of all government scandals,” he said in a statement.
Mahathir had challenged Nazri, who is the MP for Padang Rengas as well as tourism and culture minister, to debate on 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion donation, East Coast Rail Line project and even the BMF scandal, which occurred during the former premier’s tenure.
Nazri, who is a staunch critic of Mahathir, accepted the challenge without conditions.
Meanwhile, Lim criticised Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani for stating that the debate on 1MDB had nothing to do with the government and that the matter had been extensively discussed in Parliament.
“It is precisely because of the 1MDB scandal which has caused Malaysia to be ridiculed worldwide as a global kleptocracy, making Malaysians ashamed when abroad to declare that they are Malaysians as other questions like, who is MO1 and why the Malaysian government is doing nothing about the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal, to follow suit.
“Johari cannot be more wrong when he clamed that the 1MDB scandal had been ‘debated extensively in Parliament’ when MPs are not even allowed to ask questions about the 1MDB scandal although almost every other day, the 1MDB scandal is making headlines in other parts of the world.
“For the record, Parliament has never conducted any debate on the 1MDB scandal,” said the DAP veteran.
The Gelang Patah MP agreed with Johari that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had conducted a probe into 1MDB, but pointed out that it was done before the committee had access to latest information on the matter.
“In particular the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets…
“Even on the PAC report, members of Parliament were never given an opportunity to debate it in Parliament.
“The auditor-general’s report on 1MDB had been classified under the Official Secrets Act and denied access to all MPs, except PAC members.
“Furthermore, the PAC recommendations based on preliminary investigations into the 1MDB scandal had been ignored for almost a whole year – and the PAC chairperson dared not pursue the matter. Why?” he asked.