Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has rebutted criticisms from a Gerakan lawmaker saying his criticisms of 1MDB are based on information already in the public domain.
Pua said he has no intention of getting suspended from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for persistently speaking up on the 1MDB issue, which is being probed by the committee.
Gerakan's secretary-general Liang Teck Meng yesterday asked if a “fellow PAC member” was purposely trying to get kicked out of PAC by issuing "biased" statements on 1MDB.
"Let me state up front that I have no intention of getting thrown out of the PAC.
"It is my sworn duty to Malaysians as their elected representatives to get to the bottom of scandals by questioning the officers involved in them," Pua replied in a statement today.
While parliamentary Standing Orders dictate that no information made privy to the PAC can be disclosed before tabling it to Parliament, he pointed out that there are no gag orders on PAC members to prevent them from speaking on the issue using information in the public domain.
He insisted he has never breached the Standing Orders by disclosing information only available to the PAC.
"Even the former PAC chairperson Nur Jazlan (Mohamed) put it on record that I’ve been very disciplined when issuing statements," he said.
Pua had earlier released a statement where he argued that 1MDB survived only because it was "bailed out" using government assets.
This was especially true of the sale of 60 percent stake of Bandar Malaysia to a consortium partly led by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) for RM7.41 billion, he said.
While admitting that it was "unquestionably profitable" and may reduce some of 1MDB’s remaining RM32 billion of debt after the earlier Edra Global disposal, Pua noted that the sale can be considered funded by the taxpayers.
This, argued Pua, is because the government gave away the prime piece of property 1MDB had acquired from the government at the bargain basement price of RM1.6 billion in 2012.
Pua pointed out all of what was said in that statement was based on public information.
“It is my sworn duty to Malaysians as their elected representatives to get to the bottom of scandals by questioning the officers involved in them,” he added.
"Hence, I would like to ask Liang, what is wrong then for me to resolve to ‘expose the crooks behind the multi-billion ringgit scam behind 1MDB which has resulted in tens of billions of ringgit of taxpayers' losses’?" he asked.
Unless, said Pua, Liang only wanted to cover up the scandal or "polish his boss' apples" by accusing him of trying to get suspended from the PAC on purpose.