NEWS

Pandikar: No PAC hearing till new chair appointed

Published
Modified 30 Jul 2015, 8:31 am

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PAC) probe on 1MDB cannot resume until the new chairperson is elected, decreed House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

As reported by the BN backbenchers club news portal, Pandikar said that although Meeting Order 77(3) allows a PAC member to be nominated to chair the committee meeting, it is only if the chairperson or his deputy were unable to attend.

The order, cited Pandikar, cannot be used if the chairman itself has to vacate his chair in the committee.

"Furthermore, to evade any dispute or issue raised on validity of the proceeding while the chair is vacant, it is only apt that the PAC reconvene after the position of chairperson is filled," he said as quoted by BNBBC.my.

PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed ( photo ) and three others BN PAC members were appointed into the government by Prime Minister and 1MDB board of adviser chief Najib Abdul Razak on Tuesday.

The other three are Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Mas Ermiyati Samsudin and Wilfred Maidus Tangau who all will assume deputy minister's post in several ministries.

Earlier, PAC deputy chairperson Dr Tan Seng Giaw in a statement today gave his assurance that the hearings scheduled for three days, beginning Tuesday, would be conducted fairly and justly to safeguard the integrity of the PAC.

“Such hearings should not be delayed. We should consider the desire of Malaysians to know the truth about 1MDB,” he said.

1MDB executives may escape

Meanwhile, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee before this asked the PAC to seek Pandikar's comment before proceeding.

The Star reported Ronald as saying that PAC's composition will not represent the house if new members from BN are not appointed into the committee.

This however raises concern that 1MDB's top executives may escape testifying before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) next week, after highly publicised attempt to call 1MDB post and current chief executive officers.

Current and former 1MDB chief executives Shahrul Ibrahim Halmi, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman, and Arul Kanda Kandasamy ( photo ), are due to testify on Aug 4, Aug 5, and Aug 6 respectively.

The appointments have been criticised as an attempt to block the PAC's probe into 1MDB.

Ronald however admitted that this was the first time PAC members were co-opted into the government.

The appointments coincided with the sacking of attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail who was involved in a separate investigation on 1MDB led by the special task force, which among others also probing allegations that RM2.6 billion was deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts.