KUALA LUMPUR: Several parliamentarians have slammed the excuses given for the absence of two key witnesses in Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into 1MDB.
Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang (pic) said their absence was an act of contempt and shows that they had something to hide.
"This is an opportunity for them to show that there is nothing to hide. I think there should be a search. Where is Arul?
"Find out where he is, find out what is he doing and if there is a good reason to justify his skipping the PAC meeting," Lim told reporters at Parliament lobby on Tuesday.
The Gelang Patah MP however brushed aside claims by one of the 1MDB executives that additional time was needed to prepare before meeting the PAC.
"The reason is that he had a prior commitement overseas but has he got good reasons for the prior commtiements? The PAC should have higher priority. In fact, he should be chasing after the PAC," he said.
Current 1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy as well as its former chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Shahrol Halmi were no-shows at Tuesday's PAS inquiry on 1MDB.
Both of them are away on official business.
Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin said that the two executives non-appearance didn't make sense.
"They are the people responsible for all this. They should tell what's going on. I think the PAC can use its authority to summon them to come," he told reporters at parliament.
The PAC said they would set a new date for the inquiry.
Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said that the PAC could invoke it's power under the parliament act and fine both individuals for being in contempt of Parliament.
"If they refuse to do that...They are like a toothless tiger," he said asking if the two were also being protected.
Shahrol was the first CEO of 1MDB until he suddenly left the strategic fund for the Performance Delivery Unit (Pemandu). He was the CEO from February 2009 to March 2013. Arul took over from CEO Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman in January.
The bi-partisan PAC is conducting an inquiry into the debt and cashflow problems of 1MDB, which has debt of RM42bil.
The PAC began its probe into 1MDB on May 19 when two senior government officials - Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah, also a 1MDB advisory board member and, Economic Planning Unit director-general Datuk Seri Dr Rahmat Bivi Abdulla - appeared before it.
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