Former senator Ezam Md Noor called Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok "arrogant" for defending Mohd Bakke Salleh as the new Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairperson.
Ezam had taken issue with Bakke being part of the 1MDB board but Kok pointed out Bakke had resigned in 2009, the early days of the company, in protest against the first dubious transaction made under the Good Star phase by the 1MDB management.
"The minister's statement that she trusts in Bakke's integrity is arrogant and inappropriate, coming from a minister in a government that touts reform, change and justice.
"Did the minister ask if Bakke made an official complaint to the authorities about the issues in 1MDB? It is a legally and morally necessary move for someone to defend their integrity," he said in a statement today.
Ezam said Kok's endorsement of Bakke affects his suit against 1MDB, in which he had named several of the company's former officials, including Bakke.
He added that Kok should not rely only on media reports and the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) proceedings for information on Bakke.
Kok had cited the PAC proceedings where Bakke expressed disgust at 1MDB's dealings.
Ezam also claimed that Bakke had, in 2016, said that RM2.6 billion in then Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's bank account did not originate from 1MDB.
However, a check found that Bakke's exact comment was that he did not tell the PAC that RM2.6 billion came from 1MDB after the allegation was circulated on social media.
Ezam said Kok should behave in a "ministerial" manner when announcing her opinion on personalities or companies involved in scandals.