Malaysiakini News

'Pandikar’s excuses to reject 1MDB questions don’t stand up to scrutiny'

Tony Pua  |  Published:  |  Modified:

MP SPEAKS | Three days after the furore of rejecting more than 30 questions in relation to 1MDB, the Parliament Speaker, Pandikar Amin finally broke his silence.

He argued that Parliament questions are “subject to rules and procedures”.

"If the questions are accusations, assumptions, offensive, or made up, of course, I will throw it out," the speaker said.

He also argued that questions in the House can't be sub judice and affect court cases, such as the civil forfeiture suits brought on by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Unfortunately, while the reasons he gave may have sounded reasonable at the first instance, they do not stand up to any scrutiny when you conduct any objective evaluation of some of the questions posed.

I had a record 5 questions rejected – more than anyone else, and the most I’ve had rejected in any parliamentary sitting over the past eight to nine years.

None of my questions were rejected because they were “sub-judice”. I was careful to avoid my questions being canned for the above reason, invalid as it might be, when drafting my parliamentary questions.

They were all rejected because of presumably questionable assumptions (“sangkaan”) or that they were a figment of my imagination (“buah fikiran”).
In a question, I had asked what is the current value of 1MDB’s investment in “units” previously valued at US$2.3 billion and who is the current “custodian bank”.

This isn’t the first time I had asked the above question. Although the replies given by the finance minister were never satisfactory, at least the question was never rejected in the past. Why is it rejected now?

Worse, both the finance minister(s) and 1MDB had released official statements with regards to 1MDB’s investment in these “units”, which were previously held by BSI Bank as the “custodian bank”. Neither of these facts was “sangkaan” or “buah fikiran” on my part...

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