TTF: Back in November 2016, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad came out in full support of the Bersih 5 rally, declared himself a Bersih man and was seen clad in the movement’s signature yellow-coloured T-shirt.
Fast forward to this year, and on the 8th of March, Bersih 2.0 alleged that the Semenyih polls saw a total of 35 cases of election offences and misconduct, the highest among all six by-elections held since the 14th General Election.
Today, the same movement is expressing concern over Mahathir’s move to retain Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee – who just joined PPBM – as Public Committee Accounts (PAC) chairman despite the government’s earlier commitment that the post should be held by an Opposition member.
Is this all show and tell?
Could it be that Mahathir is still a member of Bersih, helps fund the movement’s activities and gets it to raise all sorts of concerns (like those raised yesterday, below) to create perception that he is open to criticism, a proponent of free speech and an advocate of truth and justice?
Has Bersih even lodged reports yet with the Election Commission (EC) over the alleged irregularities that occurred in Semenyih?
PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 has expressed concern over the move to retain Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee as Public Committee Accounts (PAC) chairman despite the government’s earlier commitment that the post should be held by an Opposition member.
The electoral watchdog said it was vital for an Opposition member to helm the PAC as it was a matter of providing checks and balances to the government.
The Star reported Friday (March 15) that Kiandee was among six Sabah elected reps who left Umno to officially join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Bersih 2.0 said it was dismayed that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the move to have the PAC helmed by an Opposition member was “only policy” and “not institutionalised”.
“We wish to remind Tun (Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) that the reason why the Pakatan Harapan manifesto had it as a promise in the first place was so that the dignity of Parliament would be restored and that it should not be a mere rubber stamp to the executive branch of the government.
“Soon after taking power last year, the Prime Minister administratively released key institutions such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the National Audit Department from the control of the Prime Minister’s Department.
“Will he or future prime ministers reverse this move because their independence is not ‘institutionalised’?” it questioned in a statement Saturday (March 16).
Kiandee’s statement that he will not resign since Dr Mahathir has said there is no need for him to do so also shows he is not suitable to chair the PAC, the electoral watchdog said.
Bersih 2.0 also called on the backbenchers and Opposition MPs to “strongly condemn” the move which would “undermine their role as a check and balance to the Cabinet.”
It said the PAC’s responsibility is to review all public accounts and to examine the Auditor-General’s reports, and that it has the power to investigate all the government’s businesses.
Lessons should also have been drawn from the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) scandal of the importance of having a PAC that is not chaired by a member of the ruling coalition, it added.