Abdullah should direct the replacement of all the BN Selangor Assembly PAC members for their outrageous and scandalous inability to understand the first rule of all PACs – public watchdog against waste and abuse of public funds
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament, Monday): The Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional Chairman, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should direct the replacement of all the Barisan Nasional Selangor Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members for their outrageous and scandalous inability to understand the first rule of all PACs – to be public watchdog against waste and abuse of public funds and NOT be an example of indiscriminate squandering of public trust and monies.
The last-minute cancellation of the eight-day “study-in-name, luxury-in-fact” tour to Egypt of the Selangor Assembly PAC is the latest in a lengthening series of scandals in the past 15 months demonstrating that Abdullah has yet to get his message of a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, trustworthy and people-oriented administration fully understood and accepted by Barisan Nasional leaders at all three tiers of government – federal, state and local.
Abdullah should also reprimand Barisan Nasional Selangor State Assemblymen who are embarking on a vindictive attack on the DAP State Assemblyman for Sekinchan and PAC member, Ng Suee Lim, for pulling out of the Egypt junket and grounding the luxury excursion, with Datuk Ahmad Bhari Abdul Rahman (Taman Templer) demanding that Ng should pay the penalty for the tour’s cancellation.
Ahmad Bhari should thank Ng not only for saving some RM100,000 of public funds but also for saving him from being the target of public opprobrium. Instead, Ahmad Bhari is being ungrateful, petty and churlish, in making the baseless demand that Ng pay the penalty for the cancellation of the tour.
The Selangor Government should thank Ng’s public-spiritedness in exposing and ending the luxury Selangor PAC trip to Egypt and the Selangor State Assembly should unanimously pass a motion expressing its appreciation of Ng’s exemplary conduct.
Alternatively, the next Selangor State Assembly meeting can decide to conduct a public opinion poll in the Selangor State, in particular in the constituencies of Sekinchan, Taman Templer and Subang Jaya (the constituency of Lee Hwa Beng, who is so furious at Ng at the cancellation of the Egypt junket), to let Selangor voters declare their choice on two questions, viz:
The Cabinet at its Wednesday meeting should send out a clear and unmistakable message to all State Assemblies and State PACs on the Prime Minister’s pledge for a clean, incorruptible, efficient, accountable, trustworthy and people-oriented administration, so that there is no need for the establishment of a national audit organization by the civil society to oversee, monitor and examine the conduct and performance of state PACs, to ensure that they act as watchdogs to protect public funds and not themselves be guilty of squandering public monies.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman