IPOH: Former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir walked out of the Perak Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting, calling it unconventional.
He arrived for the meeting as a main witness in the inquiry into the financial records of Mentri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc) at 10.10am on Monday (Nov 26).
However, he left the room at 10.50am after an argument with the committee chairman Leong Cheok Keng.
Dr Zambry said he was willing to stay on and be questioned if it was a closed-door inquiry and not a public hearing.
Also present was former MB Inc CEO Datuk Aminuddin Hashim.
Dr Zambry said a normal PAC hearing would usually be conducted after an audit report, and the witnesses will give statements before the committee members only.
"The findings of the committee will then be forwarded to the state assembly. This is how it is conducted in Parliament as well.
"So until the committee changes it to a closed-door hearing instead of a public hearing, I will not say anything," he said this to reporters at the state secretariat building.
Dr Zambry said he refused to divulge information if it is a public hearing because he does not want to set a precedent for the committee to flout rules and regulations.
"I was issued a letter to be present for the meeting, so I am here, but if it is a public hearing, I am protesting and will walk out," he added.
Leong said in Parliament there was a standing order that the PAC could not hold a public hearing, but for Perak, there is no such standing order.
"So PAC members can regulate its own procedures, and we are holding a public hearing to be transparent.
"In our second letter to you (Dr Zambry) we also waived the requirement for you not to bring any documents related to MB Inc," he added.
Leong said if Dr Zambry refused to cooperate, then he would be referred to the state assembly speaker.
"This is a contempt to the committee and the state assembly to which the committee is under.
"PAC can take disciplinary action against him, but we are not doing so. Instead we will refer him to the state assembly," he added.
Out of the seven PAC members, two members from Umno - Pengkalan Hulu assemblyman Datuk Aznel Ibrahim and Slim assemblyman Datuk Khusairi Abdul Talib -were not present at the meeting.
Leong said Khusairi had send a WhatsApp message stating he would not attend the meeting as he shared the same views as Dr Zambry, while Aznel did not give a reason.