by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, on Tuesday, 18th August 1981:
DAP to propose in October meeting of Parliament that Datuk Lee Boon Peng be removed and replace as Chairman of Public Accounts Committee .
Datuk Lee Boon Peng, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, has shown such abysmal ignorance about the purpose and powers of the PAC, and the functions, duties,, responsibilities of the PAC Chairman, that he has brought dishonor disgrace to Malaysia in the Commonwealth Parliamentary world.
Who ever hears of the PAC submitting its report to the Prime Minister to await his directive whether the PAC report should be tabled in Parliament, as publicly stated by Datuk Lee boon Peng two days ago, about the PAC’s proposed examination of the Auditor-General’s 107 Report on the 1977 Federal Government Accounts in September.
Barisan and MCA MPs have, over the years, been so conditioned and brainwashed into becoming mere ‘yes-men’ in Parliament, that even the Chairman of the PAC, who comes from the MCA, regards the PAC as a mere extension of the government service, answerable to the Prime Minister and not to Parliament.
In other countries, where there is a greater sense of self-honour, a PAC Chairman, who is a senior figure in any Parliament, would gracefully resign his post, after such a public exhibition of his gross ignorance of his duties, functions, powers and responsibilities, I don’t expect this become so pachydermous (the dictionary tells us that a pachyderm is a thick-skinned mammal, esp. elephant or rhinocerous) that they are incaplable of such fine sense of honour.
The DAP would propose in the October meeting of Parliament that Datuk Lee Boon Peng be removed and replaced as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, before he turns the PAC into a sub-committee of the Prime Minister’s Department, quietly taking orders from the Prime Minister. The PAC is delegated by the Parliament with the specific responsibility of being the parliamentary watchdog to guard against any financial irregularity, waste, extravagance, malpractice, negligence or fraud in government expenditures, as it will be physically impossible for 154MPs to examine the Auditor-General’s Report on the federal Accounts in detail.
The PAC and the PAC Chairman has only one master, and that master is Parliament. For the PAC Chairman to serve another master is to undermine the Parliamentary control of the Executive, and in fact to carry out an illegal subversion of the Parliamentary powers.
If even if the PAC Chairman does not understand the concept and principle of Parliamentary control of the Executive and Government finances, then clearly a basic course about the rudiments of parliamentary democracy must be given to Barisan MPs.
If Datuk Lee Boon Peng should have any sense of honour left, he should gracefully resign as PAC Chairman, and just be content as a backbencher.