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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Permatang Pauh tickled by PAS' Arul Kanda 1MDB briefing thumbs up

Permatang Pauh folks who attended the Pakatan Harapan ceramah at their vicinity last night found PAS' recent admission that it was satisfied with 1MDB's debt settlement plan "laughable".
PAS Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar had the crowd in stitches when he raised the issue of his party being “satisfied” with 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s briefing to PAS on the debt-riddled firm last week.
Amid the giggles and jeers, Mahfuz asked, “How can we be satisfied, when we couldn’t even understand the issue of 1MDB before this?
“How could we be suddenly satisfied with 1MDB right after Arul’s session with PAS?”asked the veteran PAS leader from Kedah, who has remained friendly with Harapan despite his party's non-cooperation with the new coalition.
“I am sorry, it involves all our money, so how can we be satisfied with 1MDB's rationalisation plan?” he asked, to the audience's calls of “dedak” (animal feed, handouts), a taunt made popular by Dr Mahathir Mohamad against Prime Minister Najib Razak's hardcore loyalists.
Harapan now comprises DAP, PKR, Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which is led by PKR's former nemesis Mahathir, who sacked the jailed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in 1998, sparking the reformasi movement.
Mahfuz was training his guns on PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who had speculated his party's purportedly brand of "mature politics" could have landed them the briefing with the 1MDB president and CEO.
Slapping his forehead, which drew even more laughter from the crowd, Mahfuz said he could not accept his party’s statement as it has made Najib “sigh in relief”.
“Following the remark (by Tuan Ibrahim), Najib patted PAS on its back, saying, 'PAS is a mature political party',” said Mahfuz, which tickled the crowd.
"How can we be satisfied after a simple two or three hour session on 1MDB?”
"Another PAS leader said, no problem, if someone has done much wrong, we ask him to repent,” Mahfuz said.
To which a member of the crowd shouted, “His belly must be very full (banyak kenyang)."
Forgiveness is divine, but...
Mahfuz admitted that in Islam, forgiveness of others is highly desired as we are not perfect human beings.
However, the financial irregularities of 1MDB is so crystal clear, said Mahfuz, that it is "very strange" (sangat pelik) to ask the prime minister cum finance minister who oversees the troubled fund to repent and continue leading the country.
"Is there no need for the courts or police, that we can just call out to anyone to come to the middle of the field, and ask him to repent?" said Mahfuz.
"So whatever happens to the person after that, whatever he does after that, we don’t care?"
1MDB is the subject of probes worldwide related to money laundering, with the US authorities claiming billions had allegedly been stolen from 1MDB by at least two individuals closely linked to Najib.
'No money to reimburse MPs'
Mahfuz lamented the situation in the country was speedily sliding downhill, such that MPs were being denied their expense claims for official travel and for attending government-related meetings and events.
He claimed MPs have not been paid their dues since February this year.
“I asked why, and an officer from the Finance Ministry said, there is no money,” said Mahfuz, while the crowd laughed in disbelief.

"Usually, the claims are entered into our bank accounts every session, but this time, it did not happen.
"But still, we go to Parliament as it is our duty to speak out for the rakyat and criticise the government," he said.
Other speakers last night included PKR Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar and Nibong Tebal MP Mansor Othman, DAP Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, Amanah Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Betsatu Penang chief Marzuki Yahya. -- Mkini

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