Yours truly has been reliably informed that only the extremely learned and independent Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), YB Datuk Nur Jazlan, and YB Tony Pua, who was the CEO of a Cyber Village Holdings Ltd in Singapore, were dominating in the PAC meeting held on 28-4-2014. It must be noted that YB Tony Pua has been known to have been following up on issues raised by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes on KLIA2 especially on the so-called cost overrun and delay.
On the issues of cost overrun, MAHB had clarified in no uncertain term that it was not cost overrun but additional cost due to the demands made by AirAsia that caused changes to the original plan. The demands include a spa and museum for AirAsia, HERE and HERE.
To understand the main function of PAC, it is necessary to revisit Parliament’s Standing orders No 77 (1). The said Standing Order provides as follows:
There shall be a Committee to be known as the Public Accounts Committee appointed at the beginning of every Parliament, for the examination of :
(a) the accounts of the Federation and the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure;
(b) such accounts of public authorities and other bodies administering public funds as may be laid before the House;
(c) reports of the Auditor-General laid before the House in accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution;
(d) such other matters as the Committee may think fit, or which may be referred to the Committee by the House.
The role of PAC has been clearly defined by Mr Edward Leigh, MP, Chairman of PAC of the House of Common, as follows:
The main work of the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) is to examine the reports made to it by the head of the National Audit Office – the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) – on his value for money studies. These are concerned with the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which government departments and other bodies have used their resources to further their objectives.
The Committee has a duty to hold the government to account for its use of taxpayers’ money. In so doing we seek to promote and protect the interests of taxpayers. Our objective is to draw lessons from past successes and failures which can be applied to future activity by the organisations examined or more generally. Our role is not to question the merits of government policies. For the full write up by Mr Edward Leigh, MP, please read HERE.
The PAC Chairman Datuk Nur Jaslan thought that he is super powerful and trying to scrutinise government policies and decisions made by independent authority like Malaysian Competition Commission MYCC. We could see from his said press statement in paragraph 10 on the issue of monopoly and paragraph 11 about the RM10 million fine imposed by MYCC against AirAsia and MAS.
Yours truly hopes that in June 2014 parliamentary session, PAC chairman will summons the chairman of MYCC, YAA Tan Sri Siti Norma, to justify why MyCC imposed a fine of RM10 million against AirAsia when it was an innocent party and was forced by the little napoleon in Khazanah to enter into the share swap agreement in a haste. For the MAS – AirAsia share swap please read HERE.
The extremely learned and independent Chairman of PAC, YB Datuk Nur Jaslan, press statement dated 28-4-2014 is reproduced below:
It must be put on record that the above press statement was pre-prepared and ready for distribution to the press by YB Datuk Nur Jaslan before hearing the so-called views of Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk Kamaruddin Meranun, Ms Aireen Omar and Tan Sri Ir Jamilus Hussein, all from AirAsia. The PAC Chairman has a very rare talent of telepathy where he knew well in advance what the four top managers of AirAsia were going to say.
It was most unfortunate his rare talent has been overlooked by the government and put to waste. Hence, YB Datuk Nur Jazlan was appointed as Chairman of PAC. To many, it was a demotion to him because he was previously the Chairman of UDA.
From paragraph 2 of the pre-prepared press statement, YB Datuk Nur Jazlan has clearly stated that there was no Audit-General Report on KLIA2 and that KLIA2 was not built using public fund.
Any right thinking Chairman of PAC would not have embarked on the examination of KLIA2 or to call upon the four top managers of AirAsia when none of them can be classified as an authority in aviation and further they are interested parties. Since 2012/2013 Tan Sri Tony Fernandes of AirAsia have been complaining about the cost overrun and more importantly the delay in the completion of KLIA2.
No other parties have complaint about these two issues accept Tan Sri Tony Fernades/AirAsia and YB Tony Pua of DAP. YB Tony Pua seemed to have followed up and highlighted the same points as Tan Sri Tony Fernandes on KLIA2. In fact, YB Tony Pua has tabled many questions in Parliament on the issues related to KLIA2. Please read Tony Spins, Tony Takes It Up.
Before yours truly proceed further, please look at the above photograph that was taken immediately after the PAC meeting on 28-4-2014. Both YB Datuk Nur Jazlan and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes were smiling away. No one could have done a better job that what YB Datuk Nur Jazlan had done for Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and AirAsia. Was it a form of damage control for AirAsia because Tan Sri Tony Fernades and AirAsia have been receiving bad publicity for the past weeks or so before 28-4-2014?
Now let us proceed to examine paragraphs 10 to 15 of the pre-prepared press statement by the extremely learned and independent Chairman of PAC.
Dalam prosiding hari ini, bersama AirAsia, PAC juga turut bertanyakan pandangan mereka mengenai Dasar Penerbangan Negara serta pemonopolian GLC dalam industri penerbangan Negara.
(In today proceedings together with AirAsia, PAC has asked its view about the national aviation policy and the monopoly of GLC in the nation’s aviation industry.)
It is never the function of the PAC throughout the Commonwealth to examine the policies of the government. “Our role is not to question the merits of government policies.” said David Leigh MP, the Chairman of PAC House of Common UK.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Datuk kamarudin Meranun, Ms Aireen Omar and Tan Sri Ir Jamilus Hussein are not the authorities in aviation. They are from AirAsia, which is an interested party, and is in competition with MAS. During Tun Badawai’s Administration, it has taken away more than 97 profitable routes from MAS and given to AirAsia. Further, for the first few years of the inception of AirAsia, the Badawai Administration imposed “floor price” against MAS i.e. MAS could not sell below certain fares for certain routes. Hence, MAS’s promotion under the name Super Saver was stopped prematurely.
If MAS was allowed a free hand and monopolised the aviation market at that time, AirAsia would not see the light of the day now. Its director like tan Sri Tony Fernandes would not have been able to be arrogant and spin via its statement and tweets.
In any event, it is not the power of PAC to question government’s policies. To YB Nur Jazlan anything goes to help Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and/or AirAsia.
Pada masa sama, PAC juga turut mendengar penjelasan AirAsia mengenai denda yang dikenakan Suruhanjaya Anti Persaingan (MYCC) terhadap AirAsia dan MAS tahun lalu.
(At the same time, PAC also listened to the clarification from AirAsia in connection with the fine imposed by Malaysian Competition Commission (MYCC) against AirAsia and MAS lat year.)
It is a fact that AIrAsia and MAS has been fined RM10 million each for violating the Anti-Competition Act because of its co-operation under the infamous share swap, HERE.
It seemed that under the extremely learned YB Datuk Nur Jazlan, PAC has acquired new found power to examine the decisions made by other lawful authorities. PAC has opened up the floodgate. From now on, PAC should examine fine imposed by Bursa KL, Securities Commission, Court of law and etc against any public companies.
In November 2013 Megasteel Sdn Bhd was fined RM4.5 million under the Competition Act, HERE. Is PAC going to examine the fined of Rm4.5 million by MyCC? Of course not, YB Datuk Nur Jazlan and/or YB Tony Pua will not be interested in any other companies being fined by MYCC or other authorities.
PAC juga berpuas hati terhadap usaha kerajaan khususnya Kementerian Pengangkutan dalam memastikan keselamatan pembinaan projek KLIA2 dengan mendapatkan khidmat konsultan antarabangsa termasuk ICAO bagi memastikan lapangan terbang ini, benar-benar boleh beroperasi ketika ia dibuka pada hari Jumaat ini, (2 Mei 2014).
PAC was satisfied with the Ministry of Transport in its efforts to ensure the safety in the constructions of KLIA2 and in securing the services of international consultants including ICAO to ensure that the airport is indeed safe for operation on Friday (2 Many 2014).
If this was the case why was the PAC wasting its time and public funds to exam the issue of KLIA2 when there was no Auditor General ‘s Report on malpractices and/or corrupt practices on it. Further, YB Nur Jaslan also admitted in paragraph 6 of his pre-prepared press statement above that the KLIA2 project was carried out with open tender. The fact that the KLIA2 was carried out with open tender was a clear indication to PAC to at least postpone the issue raised on KLIA2 by YB Tony Pua and/or Tan Sri tony Fernandes of AirAsia until such time when the Auditor General’s Report on KLIA2 is tabled in Parliament.
Perhaps, it might be an opportune moment for YB Datuk Nur Jazlan to explain why PAC couldn’t wait for Audiotr-General Report to be finalised and tabled before Parliament and why PAC had to hold a meeting on 28-4-2014 just 4 days before the opening of KLIA2 when safety was no longer an issue?
Bagaimanapun, PAC masih mahu kerajaan khususnya Kementerian Pengangkutan sentiasa mengkaji prosedur keselamatan KLIA2 bagi memastikan lapangan terbang ini, benar-benar selamat dalam tempoh jangka masa panjang.
(In any event, PAC still want the government especially Ministry of Transport at all time check on the safety procedures to ensure that KLIA2 is in fact safe in the long term.)
In paragraph 12 above, PAC is already satisfied that KLIA2 has been certified safe by ICAO for operation and o the other hand PAC demanded the Ministry of Transport at all time to check on the safety procedures. Since PAC new found interest in safety, it should also start to examine safety of public roads where there were so many accident resulting in death. Of course, YB Nur Jazlan and/or YB Tony Pua will not be interested in such safety.
Please take note that Ms Aireen Omar and/or AirAsia have been alleging that KLIA2 was not safe and that AirAsia will stay put in LCCT. The Star front page report was “KLIA2: AirAsia won’t budge”. Of course, the highly acclaimed BK Sidhu, Editor of Business Star, took great pain to highlight what has been said by Ms Aireen Omar published in 4 pages, HERE.
On 15-6-2013 Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was complaining about LCCT was like “HORSE STABLE” and the delay in the completion of KLIA2, when it was completed “AirAsia wont’t budge” and will remain in LCCT. The spin by Tan Sri Tony liken LCCT to a horse stable was of course written by none other than the famous BK Sidhu, editor of Business Star, HERE.
PAC juga sedia maklum bahawa perubahan pelan pembinaan KLIA 2 yang mengambil kira soal keselamatan terutama sekali dengan arahan Jabatan Imigresen yang mahu urusan Imigresen penumpang domestik dan antarabangsa diasingkan sehingga mengakibatkan pertambahan kos sebanyak kira-kira RM300 juta.
(PAC was aware that the change of constructions plan of KLIA2 have taken into the safety aspect firstly with the instructions of Immigration Department, which wanted the handling of domestic and international passengers to be separated and cost an additional sum of about RM300 million.)
Since PAC was so concerned with the cost of RM300 million, it should have called upon the Director-General of Immigration or Minister of Home Affairs to testify about this. Who told PAC about this RM300 million? Obviously, it was not based on Auditor-General Report. In an event, this press statement was prepared well in advance of the meeting on 28-4-2014. Although YB Nur Jazlan has the very rare quality of telepathy, question has to asked whether anyone in AirAsia has confirmed about what he got from his telepathy that prompted him to put in his said press statement.
PAC juga akan memohon kepada MAHB untuk membekalkan semua senarai konsultan yang terbabit dalam projek pembinaan KLIA2 bagi meneliti kelayakan dan ‘track record’ konsultan ini.
(PAC has requested from MAHB to provide a full list of consultants involved in the constructions of KLIA2 in order to ascertain their qualifications and track records.)
YB Datuk Nur Jazlan had already confirmed in his press statement that all constructions projects were by way of open tender. Under the circumstances, why was there a necessity to ask for the list of consultants to ascertain their qualifications and track records?
Was there any evidence from Auditor-General Reports and/or other competent authorities that some or all the consultants appointed for KLIA2 project were not qualified and/or with bad track records before PAC hear the so-called views of the managers of AirAsia? Obviously NOT because the press statement was prepared in advance!
From the said pre-prepared press statement of YB Datuk Nur Jazlan, it will be unreasonable to come to the conclusion that he has abused his public position as PAC Chairman and/or acted in bad faith.
Perhaps YB Datuk Nur Jazlan and YB Tony Pua should take an interest in the way contract was awarded for the construction of LCCT. The facts related to LCCT are as follows:
It has been reported that KLIA2 was 23% cheaper to build than the LCCT and the modern KLIA2 was just RM4,280 per sq meter, compared to RM5,567 for LCCT.
By the way, LCCT was built like a warehouse that cost RM100 million initially and about two years later it was extended and renovated costing another RM123.9 million. Total cost of LCCT was about RM224 million! The contract was awarded to Fajar Baru Builder (Rembau) Sdn Bhd not by way of Open Tender.
The extension and renovation project of LCCT was again awarded to Fajar Baru Builder (Rembau) eventhough it was not the lowest, HERE.
When Fajar Baru Builder (Rembau) was awarded with the project it has no experience in building airport and yet it was given the LCCT project.
At that time, Fajar Baru Builder (Rembau) main business was “INVESTMENT HOLDING & PROVISION FOR MANAGEMENT OF SERVICE”.
YB Datuk Nur Jaslan and/or YB Tony Pua, why both of you are not interested in examining this LCCT projects, which was like a “horse stable” costing about RM224 million many years ago?
Aren’t both of them not interested to hear what Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has to say about this “horse stable” project?
Perhaps LCCT project deserves a separate posting at a later date.