PROHAM welcomes the IMDB Report by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). This is timely and most essential. There is a need for public discussion on the findings of the PAC and the implications of their recommendations.
PROHAM is shocked by the PAC disclosure of the weak governance structure and monitoring instituted for such huge sums of public funds. We express deep concern over the failure of the Board of Directors, the Advisory council and the Ministry of Finance to institute adequate checks and balances.
We are not in agreement that the criminal breach of trust lies solely on the CEO of 1MDB and therefore the speedy release of the Auditor General’s Audit Report is imperative. This delay has impacted negatively public perception on the full disclosure and transparency of the investigations.
Transparency and public accountability is of utmost importance and therefore an open inquiry system and full disclosure is of utmost importance to restore public trust especially in the office of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finances and regulatory bodies established by the Federal government.
PROHAM calls for institutional reforms which are necessary to ensure all responsible for this neglect of their public duty be prosecuted. There is a need for further public discussion on whether government should be involved in business and financial investments as well as what effective monitoring mechanisms are necessary to prevent abuse of power.
Furthermore there is also a need for a public discussion on whether the same person should hold the office of the Prime Minister and office of the Minister of Finance. A practice uncommon in parliamentary democracies where the two role are distinctive and the public officials are publically accountable. Adequate constitutional safe guards is necessary to prevent any further abuse by the executive.
Released on behalf of PROHAM by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari (PROHAM Chair) & Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (PROHAM Secretary General).
April 10, 2016