I just could not believe that the Finance Ministry Secretary General has the audacity to absent himself from attending the Public Account Committee (PAC) hearing on the purchase of the Eurocopter helicopter for the RMAF, and instead dispatched a subordinate officer to attend on his behalf. Because of this, the PAC had to defer the hearing to an alternative date.
Is the example shown by the Secretary General worthy of emulation? And can the PAC accept whatever excuse that the Secretary General has given without question?
Clearly, this is an example of a top civil servant of a government ministry who obviously does not understand his priorities. I believe he has been forewarn to attend the hearing that is of extreme public importance. And for him to ignore the call to attend the hearing is outrageous and smacks of arrogance.
Chairman of PAC, Azmi Khalid is partly to be blame as well. What had stopped him from summoning the Secretary General himself upon realising that the latter is absent? I am quite sure the Secretary General can be reached easily by his hand phone? And what is so important that the Secretary General cannot make himself available for the hearing?
I was in the military before, and I cannot imagine absenting myself from and important meeting where my presence is personally required. I can only be excused if I am sick, and with a medical report to proof.
Certainly, the Finance Ministry Secretary General has a lot to answer, and the example that he has set is certainly one that ought not to be followed.