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Political funding committee cannot probe 1MDB, reiterates Low
Published:  Sep 8, 2015 2:49 PM
Updated: 11:46 AM

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low has said the consultative committee on political funding (JKNMPP) cannot inquire into 1MDB.

In a statement today, produced the terms of the committee, one of which read: "It is not within the scope or function of this committee to conduct inquiries or investigations into 1MDB or any other ongoing case of public interest".

"In the case of 1MDB, such investigations are already ongoing by various other institutions, enforcement agencies and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)," it added.

Low produced the "ground rules" in response to Universiti Malaya political economy professor Terence Gomez who turned down the offer to be a member of the committee as it was not allowed to touch on 1MDB.

"My concern was that 1MDB was the basis of which this committee was formed, so it seems odd that we could not discuss 1MDB," he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider .

However, Low said that Gomez was the only person who rejected the appointment.

"At the end of this inaugural meeting (on Aug 28), 16 of the 19 invited candidates agreed to abide by all the ground rules presented and officially accepted their respective appointments immediately.

"Two others who were abroad at the time accepted their appointments verbally by telephone.

"One candidate abstained, and his name was duly removed from the list," added the minister.

Low also denied that Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel was offered to sit on the committee.

According to the other "ground rules" to sit on the committee, its members are not allowed to politicise issues discussed and must remain objective and constructive.

Contents of the meeting are also not to be disclosed prematurely to the public until such time the committee has decided on a public statement through consensus.

The committee was set up to push for political funding reforms in the country.

The effort was announced by Prime Minsiter Najib Abdul Razak, who has come under scrutiny and criticism over the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts.

Najib's supporters had claimed that the money was political donation and not corruption but details cannot be revealed as the opposition refused to back political funding reforms in the past which would have allowed for better transparency.

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