DAP’s veteran MP for Kepong, Dr Tan Seng Giaw, has been appointed deputy chairman of the Public Account Committee – the first time an opposition MP has held the post.
The move is seen as a “reprieve” for opposition leader Lim Kit Siang’s earlier proposal to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to allow the opposition to head the committee, which was turned down.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Aziz, who announced the appointment said that in future, the Government would ensure that the PAC chairman would be from the Government while its deputy would come from the opposition to uphold democracy in Parliament.
“This has never been practiced before,” he told reporters before meeting six Kenyan MPs who are on their study tour here yesterday.
Lim said it was a good development and hoped that the PAC would play a more effective role in checking public accounts.
The other committee members are Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (Keadilan – Permatang Pauh), Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PAS – Tumpat), M. Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat), Madius Tangau (BN – Tuaran), Jimmy Donald Lim (BN – Sri Aman), Liow Tiong Lai (BN – Bentong), Lim Bee Kau (BN – Padang Serai), Datuk Sarit Jusoh (BN – Temerluh), Hasni Mohamad (BN – Pontian) and Ahmad Shabery Cheek (BN – Kemaman).
Nazri also said that the Government had agreed to allow another opposition member to sit on the committee although it had earlier been reported that only three opposition representatives would be appointed.
He said two more representatives from Gerakan would be appointed.
“We have yet to receive their names.”
PAC scrutinises how government agencies and other public bodies spend their annual budget.
On another matter, Nazri said Lim was scheduled to table a motion on a vote of no confidence against Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and other commission members for allegedly carrying out the recent elections in a “chaotic” manner.
Lim said he would arrange to meet with the Attorney-General today over the matter.
However, Nazri said debate on the motion would only be allowed upon advice from the Attorney-General's Chambers.
“We have submitted a proposal on a motion to be presented by (Lim) Kit Siang to the A-G this morning. The A-G has expressed concern about the usage of words in the motion which could be subjudice.”